September 19, 2019

Spain will hold a general election in November, Prime Minister Sanchez announced

Spain will hold a general election in November, Prime Minister Sanchez announced

Spaniards are set to vote for the fourth time in four years, after Premier Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party won the majority of the seats during April’s election but was unable to form a majority government by way of a coalition. The Socialists were just short of an absolute majority as they captured 123 of the 350 seats in parliament. At a press conference, Premier Sanchez commented: “There is no majority (in parliament) that guarantees the formation of a government, which pushes us into a repeat election on November 10.”

The lack of breakthrough has triggered the first comments as to who is to blame for the situation between the Prime Minister and Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos. Whilst Sanchez has commented that the other parties had made it impossible for everyone to reach an agreement, Iglesias tweeted: “Pedro Sanchez had a mandate to form a government. But he didn't want to. Arrogance and disdain for the basic rules of parliamentary democracy have come before common sense.” Podemos were cited as the likeliest party to form a government but they failed to agree on a formation with the Socialists.

After a set of inconclusive election results in 2015, 2016 and 2019, Spain remains the fourth largest economy in the euro zone. However, according to some financial analysts, further delays in implementing labor and pensions reforms could result in a decline. IZA World of Labor authors Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano and Anastasia Terskaya have analysed the labor market in Spain between 2002 and 2016. In their article, they write: “Spain, the fourth largest eurozone economy, was hit particularly hard by the Great Recession in 2008, which made its chronic labor market problems more evident. Youth and long-term unemployment escalated during the crisis and, despite the ongoing recovery, in 2016 were still at unsustainably high levels.”

“Despite the ongoing recovery, the Spanish labor market is still far from doing well. Youth unemployment as well as both temporary and long-term unemployment remain significant problems. Issues also exist with respect to immigrant workers and wage inequality, particularly for lower-wage workers,” Sanz-de-Galdeano and Terskaya add. According to the opinion polls, the Socialist Party will still remain the most popular party but they are not predicted to gain an overall majority again.

Read Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano and Anastasia Terskaya’s article The labor market in Spain, 2002-2016.