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Spain set for major economic & social change if conservatives win election

Popular Party candidate Nunez Feijoo arrives on stage to take part at a campaigning meeting in Barcelona, Spain, July 17, 2023.
Popular Party candidate Nunez Feijoo arrives on stage to take part at a campaigning meeting in Barcelona, Spain, July 17, 2023. Copyright AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
Copyright AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
By Aida Sanchez Alonso
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Spanish people will go to the polls on Sunday, as Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez bids to maintain power.

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A few days before the elections in Spain, the campaign has intensified, but polls continue to point to a change in government.

As things stand, People's Party (PP) leader Alberto Núñez Feijoo, is set to become the new prime minister, albeit, likely with the support of the far-right Vox party, something that has not happened since Spanish democracy began following the end of the military dictatorship in the 1970s.

Experts and political commentators are already speculating on the many changes it could bring about in the country.

Hardly any economic proposals have been discussed during the campaign, but there is widespread agreement that if there is a change of government it will be reflected in the economy.

"The opposition is very critical of the increase in taxes in recent years, also because of the increase in pension spending due to the recently implemented reform," Marcel Jansen, a researcher at the Madrid-based FEDEA thinktank told Euronews.

"I believe that the PP intends to reduce the increase in spending and also to reduce taxes. The important thing is that if you want to reduce taxes in Spain you almost directly have to cut expenses and after a decade of austerity in Spain, cutting means really touching the bone."

The government that comes in will also have another challenge, to reduce both Spanish debt, which stands at just over 112% of GDP, and the deficit, i.e. the difference between income and expenditure, currently at 4.8%.

There will also be some noticeable changes at a social level. One of the most affected laws could be the so-called Trans Law. 

The legislation depathologises sex change, in line with the opinion of the World Health Organisation, and allows it to be done from the age of 16 without any medical examination.

It was passed last February and the PP has promised to repeal it.

Uge Sangil, president of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGBT) told Euronews that this is a major concern for the LGBTQI community.

"We would go back to being pathologised. We would go back to being subordinated to medical certificates, to being tutored, to not even being able to choose if we want to get hormones," Sangil said.

"We would be taking a gigantic step backward. Right now with the law we have passed, trans people can change their name and sex and not have to undergo operations or hormones."

On Sunday Spain might know the new colour of its government, although nothing is being ruled out including weeks of coalition negotiations or even a repeat of the election, the same as in 2019.

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