In Galicia the left alternative flies out of parliament, in the Basque Country they lose half of their mandates. The socialists are growing slightly.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is weakened in the negotiations on Monday for European aid programs for economic reconstruction after the Covid-19 crisis, which begin on Monday. The first thing he saw last week was how his Economics Minister Nadia Calviño failed in the election of the Eurogroup leader. And now his coalition government is facing an internal crisis after the weekend regional elections in the two northwest autonomies of Galicia and the Basque Country.
Sánchez’s socialist PSOE improved slightly in both regions. But the smaller of the two coalition partners, the left-wing alternative Unidas Podemos (UP), collapsed completely.
Four years ago, the Mareas, an alliance around the UP of political professor Pablo Iglesias in Galicia, was the second-strongest party behind the conservative Partido Popular (PP) by government leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo with 14 of the 75 MPs in the regional parliament. But on Sunday the left-wing alternatives lost everything. You will no longer be represented in parliament.
Feijóo, who preferred the elections in the face of the Covid-19 crisis to benefit from the displeasure with the government in Madrid, won again. His PP has 41 MPs (48 percent) in the new and old parliament. The left-wing Nationalist Galician Bloc (BNG) inherited the votes from the left-wing alternative Marea and is number 2 with 19 MPs (23.8 percent). The Sánchez Socialists are once again third with 15 MPs (19.4 percent). Total loss
The situation is similar in the Basque Country. There Podemos lost five of the eleven MPs so far (8 percent). The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) of Prime Minister Iñigo Urkullu is once again victorious with 31 of the 75 MPs (39.1 percent). The PNV won three seats. Number 2 is the left-wing nationalist EH Bildu, which gained five seats. It now has 22 MPs (27.8 percent). It inherited Podemos. The socialists, who will presumably continue to rule in a coalition with the PNV, have ten seats instead of nine (13.6 percent).
The second big loser is the alliance of PP and right-wing Ciudadanos with five MPs (6.8 percent). The PP alone had nine seats four years ago. For the first time, a member of the far-right VOX (2 percent) is moving into the Basque Parliament.
UP boss Iglesias didn’t dare to watch the cameras on election night. He contented himself with a short message on Twitter, in which he spoke of a “defeat that could not be talked about” and announced “self-criticism”. But how it can look is unclear. It was Iglesias who, after the left-wing alternatives merged with the United Left (IU) and large parts of the Communist Party, caused a broad wave of purges in the party. In the Basque Country, he had the entire leadership and a large number of the candidates replaced. And in Galicia, his authoritarian style caused the Mareas to fall apart. The new formation Galicia en Comun could not gain a foothold. UP had had similar poor results in the regional and local elections last summer, including in the Madrid region.
The first major problem Iglesias now faces is that one of his best women in the coalition cabinet, Minister of Labor Yolanda Díaz, comes from the Mareas. Without house power, it is virtually released for shooting down by business associations and the opposition.
The Podemos co-founder Jorge Lago, who was responsible for the discourse that was successful in the beginning, but was later removed from office and left the party, is one of many who “the ideological, identitarian and sentimental bond” to the Communists for the bitter defeat make responsible.