This Week's Focus: Quo vadis, Spain?

This Week's Focus: Quo vadis, Spain?


On Sunday September 27 elections to the regional parliament of Catalonia were held. The interest aroused by these regional elections was its plebiscitary character in order to evaluate the popular support for an independent state in Spain, ready to be configured with clearly advocates and antagonists of a process of secession parties.

Plebiscitum has its origin in the law emanating from the people, on a proposal from a tribune, in the Republican era of Rome, the application concerned only her and not to the upper social classes. Later, the laws affected the entire population. Today, it is subjected to popular endorsement transcendent those laws or acts in a similar way to the Roman plebiscite.

Plebiscite without referendum
The inability to agree on a referendum by constitutional means, determined that these elections show themselves as a success or a failure depending on voter turnout, with a view to legitimize its results and conclusions that may arise.

On the legitimacy of the result there is little question. Participation (77.44%) was a new record in the history of post transition to democracy regional elections, only to participation in the legislative elections of 1977, the first of the restoration of democracy after the dictatorship Franco, and 1982 in which the PSOE came to govern for the first time.

The results of the vote, without entering into collaborative study, give a majority of seats in favor of the parties that proposed an independent state, while accumulate more votes opposing parties in this way, although by a small margin.

Nothing will be the same
However, a second reading allows us to see beyond regarding the positioning of the different options. Thus both C's and PP are more to maintain the current system of state with a strong central government and a autonomies that manage some skills. Contrapuestamente this option, the pro-independence parties in which Junts x itself represents more moderate option and the most radical CUP way, want to be given a completely autonomous and independent.

In a somewhat different dynamic, both PSC (PSOE) and Catalunya really is pot (can-UI) offer a speech of constitutional changes to create a state in federal court over Spain, so that the nations that live under the same drive to see their aspirations for self-government met in more than the current autonomy. In some ways, not so different from what part of the electorate had been defending itself Junts x until recently.

The 1978 Constitution, in the spotlight
The interpretation of the results differs according to the ideology of every political representative. Thus, the election winners understand that they have a broad democratic mandate to carry out its program of creating an independent state of Spain within a maximum period of 18 months, preferably by way of negotiation with the government of Spain and, on appeal with the European institutions. However, they do not rule out a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which is the path proposed by its ally necessary, the CUP to have an absolute majority in the regional parliament.

On the other hand, contrary to argue that the alleged independence referendum has failed to obtain an absolute majority of the votes, so it is not will of the majority of the population in Catalonia start via proclaimed independent state. This reading is a dangerous simplification of reality, since the percentage of voters who are clearly manifested in favor of a change in the situation of political engagement of Catalunya in Spain is higher than 2/3 of the votes cast.

Waiting for the general election
The immediate key, however, will be on the government arising from the upcoming Spanish general elections. The latest polls indicate that the PP is ahead in voting intentions for the PSOE, although the decline since the last general is higher for popular (over 15 points) than for the Socialists. The alternative to the traditional parties (Citizens as a substitute for the PP and the PSOE we as a competitor), lose bellows but more noticeable way we can to Citizens.

According to a recent poll by Public Opinion Research Services, the distribution of seats could be the following:

With this expectation, the PP would be able to continue governing, but should use agreements since not enjoy an absolute majority he got in 2011. His natural ally would be citizens, but will stand out from the traditional parties could make the impossibility of agreement . Accepting the possibility of forming coalition, nor is it clear that the support of Citizens was enough because not reach the 176 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.

On the contrary, PSOE and can not seem to count with enough seats to govern, so most likely the parties to a constitutional reform to fit Catalunya without reaching a unilateral independence they not have enough strength to govern pact.

Nationalist forces (ERC-PNV-CDC) have together about 20 seats, and could favor the parties that were more likely to review the Spanish Constitution in favor of their expectations.

Europe closely watches
In conclusion, both the outlook Catalan Spanish level and level open to a lot of uncertainty in the coming months. This situation can not lead to major changes affecting the Spanish economy in the short term, but the prospect of an unstable Spanish parliament may involve the landing of the EU to avoid certain political chaos and lawlessness that involve a relaxation in compliance the commitments of economic and financial stabilization.

In a way, it is expected a "italianización" of Spanish policy in 2016 can not rule out a future government of technocrat mood to promote a constitutional reform that will allow the European Union will not suffer their first secession not agreed.