Spain: Podemos refuses to join a pro-austerity gov't, ends talks

Podemos supporters.

Spain could go without a government for several more months after left-wing anti-austerity party Podemos cancelled talks with the main opposition party, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), TeleSUR English said on February 24.

Podemos walked away from talks when the PSOE tried to make a deal with the right-wing Citizens party.

Attempts to form a new government have been underway in Spain since general elections in December failed to give any party a majority. The incumbent Popular Party, Spain's main right-wing party, won just 123 seats in the 350-seat parliament — down 64 seats.

The PSOE only just beat its new left-wing rival Podemos in the popular vote (22% to 20.7%), but won 90 seats to Podemos's 69. Citizens won 40 seats, meaning a PSOE-Citizens coalition falls short of a majority.

TeleSUR English said: “These results represented a break from Spain's traditionally two-party system, but prolonged negotiations may serve to exacerbate the European country's economic woes. Unemployment will not dip below 20%.

“Podemos said it did not agree with the social and economic policies outlined in the deal, which includes tax reforms and measures to make government spending more efficient.”

Inigo Errejon, a leading member of Podemos, said the deal on offer was “incompatible” with Podemos's positions.

The country is also without a prime minister, with PP leader Mariano Rajoy standing in as acting prime minister. Rajoy said the country will “most likely” hold another round of elections in four months to break the political deadlock, TeleSUR English said.

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