Sunday, December 20, 2015

Spanish election - more problems for Angela Merkel's austerity program

Angela Merkel's neoliberal eurozone saw another crack open today as a result of elections in Spain.

In Sunday's national election, Mariano Rajoy's conservative People's Party (PP) lost the parliamentary majority it has held for four years. They came in first with, according to current projections (La izquierda podrá formar Gobierno Público 21.12.2015) with 122 parliamentary seats, with 176 needed for a majority.

The social democrats (PSOE), which embraced Merkel's austerity policies at the onset of the euro crisis, managed to come in second with 91 seats. That doesn't give the long-dominant two major parties a majority even between the two of them.

The new Podemos party led by Pablo Iglesias came in third with 69 seats, a real surge for the left. The PSOE has made some gestures in the way of criticizing austerity and Merkel's Herbert Hoover/Heinrich Brüning economics. With votes from some of the smaller left parties with seats in Parliament, the PSOE and Podemos could form a left government.

I should note here that when I talk about austerity, there are degrees of it that vary from country to country. It has not been been nearly so severe in Spain as in Greece, for instance. But it's been enormously damaging in Spain nonetheless.

A new rightwing party, Ciudadanos, captured 40 seats and fell short of general expectations.

I guess Angela Merkel is not Person of the Year in Spain.

And probably not in Italy, either: Francesco Guarascio, Italy's Renzi blasts German policies at EU summit Reuters 12/18/2015.

No comments: