The Day in Spain #1






Reactions of the main parties to Rajoy’s decision of only standing for prime minister if he has enough support

Rajoy and the People’s Party are under fire after announcing that the incumbent prime minister will only stand for re-election at the Parliament if he has enough support, cementing the political deadlock. According to Spanish law, the countdown to new elections only starts running once a candidate runs for prime minister.

PSOE considers Rajoy’s attitude unacceptable and politically irresponsible. The socialists think that Rajoy’s attitude is unconstitutional.

Anti-austerity Podemos regretted Rajoy’s attitude and blamed the People’s Party for the political blockade.

Centre-right Ciudadanos declared that the investiture session should take place in August. That way, the new government would be ready to pen the 2017 National Budget.

The constitutional debate is at the centre of Spanish news. While most of the opposition consider that Rajoy must constitutionally make himself available for the investiture in due term, the People’s Party takes refuge in the fact that the Spanish Magna Carta is not explicit about it.

Rajoy will call Sánchez and Rivera today

PP’s Antonio Casado has announced that PM Mariano Rajoy will call PSOE’s Pedro Sánchez and Ciudadanos’ Albert Rivera today, to set up the negotiation schedule to end with the Spanish political blockade. PSOE has already announced that they will vote against Rajoy’s re-election, while Ciudadanos is open to an abstention in the second vote.

Ciudadanos announce they won’t support Rajoy, but offers to mediate between PP and PSOE

Centre-right Ciudadanos’ Manuel Villegas  has said that there’s no need to negotiate with incumbent prime minister. Mariano Rajoy, as his party has already decided its vote in an eventual investiture debate. Ciudadanos will vote “NO” in the first vote (when the candidate needs an absolute majority to succeed) and abstain in the second round (when only a simple majority is needed). This doesn’t change the fact that Rajoy needs PSOE’s abstention or support to be re-elected.

The Government demands that the Constitutional Court acts against the Catalan Parliament’s Chairwoma, Carme Forcadell

The demand responds to an alleged disobedience of the court’s mandate. The Catalan government, headed by pro-independence coalition Junts Pel Si and supported by anti-austerity CUP, has already registered a Tax Agency bill that would be voted in September. This bill is a part of the Catalan “disconnection” process, which was banned by the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court finds that the ‘judicial fees’ put in place by Gallardon in 2012 are unconstitutional

The verdict means that the fees will no longer be required. The measure was put into place by former Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón. In 2015, the government nullified the fees for natural persons. Now, organisations won’t have to pay to access the legal system in Spain.


Spanish Q2 GDP shows 0.7% growth

The finance minister, Luis de Guindos, has raised the government’s forecast for 2016, which is now at 2.9%. The forecast for 2017 has been lowered 0.1% to 2.3%. The minister has explained that Brexit will have a direct impact of 0.1% to 0.2% in Spanish growth.


Five former ministers from Aznar’s government to declare as witnesses in the first big Gürtel case trial

Five ministers during Aznar’s government (1996-2004) will declare as witnesses in the first large trial against the Gürtel corruption network.

  • Francisco Álvarez Cascos (vice-prime minister from 1996 to 2000 and miniter of public works from 2000 to 2004),
  • Javier Arenas (minister of employment and social services from 1996 to 1999, minister of public works from 2002 to 2003 and vice-prime minister from 2003 to 2004),
  • Ángel Acebes (minister of public administrations from 1999 to 2000, minister of justice from 2000 to 2002 and minister of interior from 2002 to 2004)
  • Jaime Mayor Oreja (minister of interior from 1996 to 2001)
  • Rodrigo Rato (vice-prime minister and finance minister from 1996 to 2004)

The presence of the five members of Aznar’s administration has been requested by one of the defendants, Luis Bárcenas. The attorney demands up to 42 years in prison for Bárcenas, who was PP’s treasurer, and is allegedly responsible for the party’s illegal financing, money laundering and other crimes.

The Gürtel case affects wide areas of the governing People’s Party. Delegations in Madrid and Valencia are being run by legal administrators after their implication in the corruption network was made public. The party itself has been recently indicted for alleged destruction of evidence and concealment in the same case.


Former National Audience judge Baltasar Garzon has filed an administrative contentious case to remove the remains of dictators Francisco Franco and José Antonio Primo de Rivera from the Valle de los Caidos monument

The monument, placed in the vicinity of Madrid, was built between 1940 and 1958, as a homage to the Francoist casualties in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The judge demands that the site becomes a homage to the memory of the war, and that there is an identification of the casualties buried there. There is a controversy about the construction of the Valle de los Caidos, allegedly built using Republican political prisoners as slaves.






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