In exchange, the Spanish government must pledge not to increase taxes, to apply direct rule again in Catalonia under certain scenarios, and shun a pact with Basque nationalists.
Albert Rivera, leader of Spain's Ciudadanos party, made an unexpected proposal Monday facilitating Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez’s confirmation as premier if certain conditions are met for his own party. The counteroffer could break a political deadlock and avoid another national election.
The Spanish government must not increase taxes, apply direct rule again in Catalonia in certain circumstances, and shun a pact with Basque nationalists in Navarra, says the Ciudadanos leader if Socialists want their support. In return, he said he has asked the leader of the second-largest PP party, Pablo Casado, to join him in abstaining in any investiture vote that could happen next September, which should be enough for Sanchez to become prime minister.
Rivera’s proposal came as a surprise because any speculation about a deal over the past months had focused on talks between the Socialists and far-left Unidas Podemos, which both sides said had reached a dead-end.
Even when Spanish Socialist Worker's Party won the elections in April, they didn’t have enough seats to govern on their own, illustrating how fragmented Spain's political and electoral scenario has become. So far no major policies have gotten through parliament for lack of a majority, and the budget will roll over unless the impasse is resolved.
Opinion polls have shown that both Ciudadanos and Podemos would lose votes in a repeat election, while PP and the Socialists would benefit, if only a bit.
Party leaders will meet King Felipe VI on Tuesday for consultations in which they are expected to spell out their position on Sanchez becoming premier. Socialist party leader will meet with the king last, and it is up to him to say if he will attempt an investiture vote or if the country will head straight to elections.