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  Talk Elections
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  Spanish elections and politics II (State of Coronavirus Alarm declared)
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Author Topic: Spanish elections and politics II (State of Coronavirus Alarm declared)  (Read 90891 times)
Velasco
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« Reply #1400 on: February 16, 2020, 05:24:35 pm »
« edited: February 17, 2020, 12:08:41 am by Velasco »

Basque Country election  polls

Gizaker for EITB / GAD3 for ABC

EAJ-PNV 31-32 seats (40.9%) / 31-32 (40.5%)
EH Bildu 17-19 (22.6%) / 18-19 (22.4%)
PSE-EE 11-12 (14.4%) / 10 (12.3%)
Elkarrekin Podemos 8-9 (11.2%) / 7-9 (10.9%)
PP 5-6 (7.2%) / 7(7.9%)
VOX 0 (2.1%) / 0 (2.1%)
Cs 0 (0.7%) / 0 (0.8%)

Total seats: 75 (majority: 38)

Solid PNV lead and majority for the coalition between Basque nationalists and socialists

Galician election poll

Metroscopia for El Confidencial


PP 39 (46.6%)
PSOE 16 (20.1%)
BNG 14 (18.5%)
Esquerda* 6 (8.4%)
VOX 0 (2.7%)
Cs 0 (1.1%)

Total seats: 75 (majority: 38)


Narrow PP majority (solid lead) and BNG surge

*The "Left Common Group (Esquerda)" is aparliamentary group incorporating Podemos, IU, Anova, Equo and some grassroots movements such as Marea Atlántica (led by former A Coruña mayor Xulio Ferreiro) or Compostela Oberta. It's a split of the former En Marea group. For the moment (afaik), these parties and movements have not arranged candiate or coalition deal.


There have been relevant news with political implications this week, such as the cancellation of the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona (coronavirus panic, allegedly) and farmers protests in Valencia, León and elesewhere within a larger emerging protest movement of the countryside and the 'Emptied Spain'

https://english.elpais.com/economy_and_business/2020-02-14/spanish-farmers-stage-fresh-demonstrations-in-protest-at-low-prices-for-their-products.html

Quote
Spanish farmers staged a fresh demonstration on Friday in protest at the low prices of their produce, cutting off roads with their tractors in a number of parts of the country in a repeat of industrial action they have been taking since the end of January.

In Valencia, hundreds of farmers’ vehicles blocked the eastern Mediterranean city’s center, along a route that ended at the doors of the central government’s delegation there. There were also tractor protests in the province of Córdoba, where 5,000 vehicles blocked the freeway to Málaga.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government was today holding meetings with union representatives and bosses from leading supermarket chain Mercadona. The distribution sector is being blamed by farmers for slashing prices and using loss-leading strategies, as well as other similar methods that are having a negative effect on producers’ revenues.

The Friday protest in Valencia attracted 800 tractors, and was called by the main agrarian organizations. They are calling on the government to take measures to ensure that the prices they receive for their products at least cover their production costs. The farmers were planning to hand over their demands at the government delegation.

Wearing yellow jackets, protester Miguel Ángel Rosa explained to fellow farmer José Piles the problems he faced. “When this Casio gets to the store,” he said, pointing to his watch, “the production costs are already incorporated. But we, on the other hand, are the first who have to shell out, the last to get paid, and we don’t even make back what we have spent.” The pair are both 60 years old and started to work in the countryside at age 14. They produce oranges, persimmon and vegetables.

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The Saint
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« Reply #1401 on: February 19, 2020, 07:18:13 pm »

Is the BNG surge likely to be maintained until the election, or is there a chance it wears off?
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #1402 on: February 20, 2020, 12:27:08 pm »

Is the BNG surge likely to be maintained until the election, or is there a chance it wears off?

I personally think it will be maintained. BNG is coming from a very low point, as in 2016 most of their electorate went to UP, that was when UP was at its national peak. With UP going down a not insignificant part of their electorate will go back to BNG.

UP also sold themselves as a Galician nationalist lite party of sorts that election, or to be more precise; had alliances with people that did; most notably long time former long time BNG leader Xose Manuel Beiras, leader of Anova (a BNG split who ran with IU in 2012, and with UP in 2016).

Similarly, I would expect Bildu to rise in the Basque Country as well, albeit to a lesser extent
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #1403 on: February 20, 2020, 12:39:44 pm »

In other news, the government is preparing 2 new high profile bills.

The first one is a "Sexual Freedom Bill". Essencially, it is a big reform of all bills relating to rape, sexual assaults, gender violence and what not; including for example the inclusion of the always controversial "only yes is yes" principle (in other words, that explicit consent is needed in sexual relations).

Other changes include actually reducing the penalties for sexual abuse, adding gang rape, drugging a person to rape them and marital rape (this includes non-married couples) as aggravating circumstances and it will criminalize sexual street harrassing (the usual "yell sexist things at random women in the street" stuff)

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/02/14/actualidad/1581704814_345657.html

Another big bill will be a new education bill, this time called LOMLOE (Ley Orgánica de Modificación de la Ley Orgánica de Educación).

Apparently it will have 7 main points:

>Modify how people become teachers; including a mandatory internship lasting for one year
>Revise the public scolarships system, reducing the minimum GPA to get a scolarship to a 50/100 (the minimum passing grade in Spain in general) and lowering other requirements
>Implanting a mandatory subject of "Ethics and civic values"
>Parents get back a vote in School Councils
>A complete overhaul of the Vocational Training programs (Formación Profesional, FP)
>The Religion subject will no longer count towards a student's GPA
>Increasing the number of permanent teachers

As per usual, this is just another education bill rolling back whichever things the last education bill made. The biggest example here is the "Ethics and Civic Values" subject. It was first implemented by Zapatero as "Education for Citizenship". Then the Rajoy government deleted it and now Sánchez is bringing it back.

Since Spain became a democracy all PP and PSOE governments have passed at least one full overhaul of the education system. You have Gonzalez's LOGSE, Aznar's LOCE (never implemented), Zapatero's LOE, Rajoy's LOMCE and apparently now Sanchez's LOMLOE. Plus the Francoist bill from 1970.

In fact, had I been a year younger I would have studied under a whopping 4 different education bills! (LOGSE, LOCE, LOE and LOMCE); even if LOCE was never enacted.

https://electomania.es/lomloe-el-gobierno-prepara-una-nueva-ley-de-educacion/
https://www.eldiario.es/sociedad/Celaa-derogara-LOMCE-aprobara-Gobierno_0_997750543.html
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Velasco
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« Reply #1404 on: February 21, 2020, 02:12:36 pm »

PP and Cs have sealed today a coalition agreement for the Basque Country elections. Basically, it's an imposition of Pablo Casado to the leader of the regional branch Alfonso Alonso. The ticket will be called "PP+Cs" and oranges will be granted two electable positions. The text of the agreement says the coalition will be headed by the PP without naming the regional leader, who was opposed to a deal with Cs and bypassed by the PP national leadership. Galicia premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo also rejected a joint ticket with Cs, while oranges rejected the offer to integrate in the PP list. The reason why Pablo Casado imposed the coalition in the Basque Country and not in Galicia is obvious: Alberto Núñez Feijóo leads one of the strongest regional branches and governs with a majority in regional assembly, while PP is much weaker in the Basque Country and plays a marginal role in regional politics. The benefits of a coalition agreement with Cs are at best dubious (see recent polls), but possibly it's a sign of a future merger through absorption. The Galician PP is different from other regional branches, as it has regionalist traits incompatible with the centralism of Cs and Vox. On the other hand, the Basque PP supports the Basque economic agreement which Cs traditionally opposes. This stance was not an impediment for the coalition agreement in the neighbouring Navarre (NA+), as the oranges modulated total opposition to the Navarrese economic agreement.

In the news, Spain is about to introduce tougher requirements to asylum seekers...

https://english.elpais.com/politics/2020-02-19/spain-to-introduce-tougher-asylum-requirements.html

... and the Interior ministry announcement upsets UP

https://english.elpais.com/politics/2020-02-20/spains-coalition-government-clashes-over-immigration-crackdown.html

Quote
The Spanish coalition government between the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the anti-austerity Unidas Podemos is showing the first signs of tensions over plans to introduce tougher asylum requirements. Spain’s Interior Ministry is drafting a new law that will restrict the right to asylum, following the path taken by the European Union in recent years. A draft of the bill, to which EL PAÍS has had access, limits access to asylum application at migrant holding centers, and expands the list of legitimate reasons for denial.

But this is not the only source of conflict. Indeed, the tension between the two parties has been building for weeks in response to Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska’s tougher stance on immigration. In recent months, the minister has increased deportations of undocumented migrants to Mauritania to relieve pressure on Spain’s Canary Islands, which have seen a huge spike in irregular arrivals.

Story: "Why I voted for Vox"

https://english.elpais.com/eps/2020-02-21/why-i-voted-for-vox.html

Quote
As we enter the Murcia region, the sky becomes leaden. The area is on orange alert for severe weather conditions. There were several fatalities during the storms of last September, when torrential rains ruined crops and flooded streets and homes. There were millions of euros worth of damage, and the Mar Menor saltwater lagoon became poisoned, resulting in a carpet of dead marine life being washed ashore (...)

 
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #1405 on: February 23, 2020, 06:35:41 pm »

The national PP executive has decided to sack the Basque PP leader Alfonso Alonso. He was opposed to the deal with Cs and was well known for being a moderate inside PP. He will be replaced by Carlos Iturgaiz, a hardliner who was already Basque PP leader in the early 00s.

In any case, this is definitely bad news for PP's already limited appeal in the Basque Country. Why would Casado shoot himself in the foot in this way?
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« Reply #1406 on: February 23, 2020, 07:56:47 pm »

The national PP executive has decided to sack the Basque PP leader Alfonso Alonso. He was opposed to the deal with Cs and was well known for being a moderate inside PP. He will be replaced by Carlos Iturgaiz, a hardliner who was already Basque PP leader in the early 00s.

In any case, this is definitely bad news for PP's already limited appeal in the Basque Country. Why would Casado shoot himself in the foot in this way?

You are probably looking at it the wrong way. You think the point of such a pact is to get more seats in a legislature that PP never has a shot at governing, at least currently. Casado sees the pact as the next step to incorporating the dying C's, so getting everything to work is more important.
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Velasco
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« Reply #1407 on: February 23, 2020, 08:35:09 pm »
« Edited: February 23, 2020, 11:43:36 pm by Velasco »

The national PP executive has decided to sack the Basque PP leader Alfonso Alonso. He was opposed to the deal with Cs and was well known for being a moderate inside PP. He will be replaced by Carlos Iturgaiz, a hardliner who was already Basque PP leader in the early 00s.

In any case, this is definitely bad news for PP's already limited appeal in the Basque Country. Why would Casado shoot himself in the foot in this way?

Pablo Casado sacrifices the already weak Basque PP in exchange for a deal with Cs that hopefully paves the way for the absorption of the orange remains. The incumbent PP leader is just following the road map of his master José María Aznar: ideological rearming and reunification of the Spanish Right under the PP banner. Alonso backed Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in the leadership contest, as well dislikes Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo (Congress spokeswoman, protegée of Aznar). The man is completely unimportant for Casado. Of course the decision is a shot on the foot of the mediocre PP leadership, as well as disrespectful with a regional organization which suffered a lot during the ETA lead years. Carlos Iturgaiz is a veteran hardliner who has been many years in oblivion. This pick is somewhat surprising for me. I don't think a radical out of touch with the present day is the best choice to run. I guess Casado expects the untouchable Alberto Nuñez Feijóo renews his majority in Galicia, compensating the likely disaster in the Basque elections. By the way, it was rumoured former UPyD leader Rosa Diez could have been the candidate picked by Casado. Ms Diez is currently in the PP orbit. Yet another radical centralist out of touch with the Basque reality. The evolution of Basque politics since the ETA ceasefire has been remarkably opposite to that of Catalonia.
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Velasco
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« Reply #1408 on: February 24, 2020, 04:05:25 am »

Carlos Iturgaiz has made some statements already. He said in the hard right esradio that Vox leader Santiago Abascal is a ''wonderful person'' and made an appeal to the far right party: ''we are not together because Vox is unwilling to''

Mr Iturgaiz claims that we are under a ''fascist-communist'' government aimed to destroy Spain, a country that is currently in a ''very serious situation'' of national emergency.

As I said earlier, the man is out of touch. The question is, given that Casado is drifting again towards the far right, what the hell are doing Inés Arrimadas and the other fake centrists? Isn't there a window of opportunity for a moderate centre-right party? I'm afraid the Spanish Right is following the Hungarian path (PP-Cs= Fidesz; Vox= Jobbik)
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #1409 on: February 24, 2020, 12:55:54 pm »

Well, following from Velasco's question about "What are Arrimadas and the fake centrists doing?", it seems the Cs leadership election got a lot more interesting today.

Francisco Igea, leader of the party in Castille-Leon and well known critic of the leadership of Rivera and Arrimadas, has jumped into the leadership race. Igea became leader in Castille-Leon after winning an election that was rigged against him, and has been the highest profile critic in Cs. He even wanted a PSOE-Cs deal in Castille-Leon but the party shut him down.

Anyways, here is what Igea is proposing. The biggest difference is that Igea is defending a much more decentralized party model, where regional leaders have more autonomy. Currently Cs (alongside Vox) are the most centralized parties in Spain, where regional leaders are little more than puppets to the national leadership. Opponents claim this model is too inflexible and rigid, while supporters claim the alternative of high profile regional leaders (like the infamous PSOE barons) is worse. Igea is also against the PP-Cs deals that have been negotiated for the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia.

In a way, this primary reminds me slightly of the 2017 PSOE primary. All the Cs leadership is backing Arrimadas, while the bases (particularly in Catalonia) are supporting Igea. However, Igea is no Pedro Sánchez and I expect him to handily lose, in a scale of 80-20 or something like that; and Cs will slowly but surely be absorbed into PP.

Others have instead put the UP 2017 primary as the example, claiming that Igea is to Cs what Errejón was to UP.

https://elpais.com/politica/2020/02/23/actualidad/1582488811_600629.html
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Velasco
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« Reply #1410 on: March 01, 2020, 02:40:09 pm »

PM Pedro Sánchez and Catalan premier Quim Torra were present in the first meeting of the "governments tabla" to discuss the future of Catalonia. The meeting took place in La Moncloa, the seat of government in Madrid. The scenography was impressive and elaborate. The result were three hours of "therapy" about the origins of the crisis

https://english.elpais.com/politics/catalonia_independence/2020-02-28/catalan-talks-start-with-three-hours-of-therapy-about-the-origins-of-the-crisis.html

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Contrary to expectations, the first round of talks between Spain’s central government and the Catalan authorities on the future of the northeastern region did not focus on how to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Catalonia, or whether the region has the right to hold a referendum on independence. Instead, representatives from both sides – who until recently appeared irreconcilable – spent nearly three hours on Wednesday discussing a historical issue: what were the origins of the Catalan crisis, and when do they date from?

Although no agreement was reached on key issues such as the right to an independence referendum or a government pardon for jailed separatists, the 15 participants at the meeting underscored that the most important point was holding the meeting itself, and the fact that further negotiations will take place in the coming weeks and months.

The meeting ended with a joint statement, and several people who were present agreed that while there were major discrepancies, the tone was friendly and even seemed, at times, like a therapy session.

Holding these talks was a condition set by the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), a separatist party with 13 lawmakers in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, in exchange for its commitment to abstain at the congressional vote in January to confirm Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), as the prime minister of Spain.

Opposition leader Pablo Casado claims this negotiation is "humiliating" and promised he will revoke -once in government- whatever agreement is reached.

On the other hand, the expenditure ceiling was passed in Congress with the PNV support and the abstention of EH Bildu, ERC and JxCAT. Finance minister María Jesús Montero looked relieved, because is the first and necessarystep to have the budget passed by summer,

However, the Catalan independence movement is disunited and the attitudes toward the negotiation table are different. While ERC supports it and favours a pragmatic and gradualist strategy, the "leader in exile" Carles Puigdemont downgrades its importance.

Puigdemont was the star of a massive rally taking place yesterday in Perpignan, on the French side of the Catalan border

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia/thousands-attend-rally-in-france-for-exiled-catalan-leader-idUSKBN20N0TK

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Tens of thousands of Catalan independence supporters gathered in Perpignan, southern France, on Saturday at a rally in support of exiled former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who called on the crowd to prepare for the “definitive struggle” for independence. (...)

Puigdemont, who is now a member of the European Parliament and lives in exile in Belgium, urged supporters waving Catalan flags not to give up on the fight for an independent Catalonia.

“We know that we won’t stop and they won’t stop us. We don’t have to wait for better times because they are here,” he said, to cheers from the crowd, which numbered around 70,000 according to local police, though organizers put the number closer to 150,000. 

Galicia elections: Sondaxe poll

PP 39 seats (43.7%)
PSOE 15 (18.7%)
BNG 13 (16.7%)
Left 8 (12.6%)
Cs 0 (2.7%)
VOX 0 (1.8%)

The PP+Cs coalition in the Basque Country is polling between 7% and 8%
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Velasco
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« Reply #1411 on: March 02, 2020, 07:32:16 am »
« Edited: March 02, 2020, 07:35:37 am by Velasco »

Well, following from Velasco's question about "What are Arrimadas and the fake centrists doing?", it seems the Cs leadership election got a lot more interesting today.

Francisco Igea, leader of the party in Castille-Leon and well known critic of the leadership of Rivera and Arrimadas, has jumped into the leadership race. Igea became leader in Castille-Leon after winning an election that was rigged against him, and has been the highest profile critic in Cs. He even wanted a PSOE-Cs deal in Castille-Leon but the party shut him down.

Anyways, here is what Igea is proposing. The biggest difference is that Igea is defending a much more decentralized party model, where regional leaders have more autonomy. Currently Cs (alongside Vox) are the most centralized parties in Spain, where regional leaders are little more than puppets to the national leadership. Opponents claim this model is too inflexible and rigid, while supporters claim the alternative of high profile regional leaders (like the infamous PSOE barons) is worse. Igea is also against the PP-Cs deals that have been negotiated for the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia.

In a way, this primary reminds me slightly of the 2017 PSOE primary. All the Cs leadership is backing Arrimadas, while the bases (particularly in Catalonia) are supporting Igea. However, Igea is no Pedro Sánchez and I expect him to handily lose, in a scale of 80-20 or something like that; and Cs will slowly but surely be absorbed into PP.

Others have instead put the UP 2017 primary as the example, claiming that Igea is to Cs what Errejón was to UP.

https://elpais.com/politica/2020/02/23/actualidad/1582488811_600629.html

On a brief note, party convention will take place on March 14 and 15. Inés Arrimadas is set to win by a landslide, as she has collected 277 of 355 delegates (78%). The current parliamentary spokeswoman and future Cs leader ruled out a merger with the PP. Apparently Arrimadas is attempting a controlled renewal of the party without Rivera's inner circle and with more women in positions of power. Most of Rivera's lieutenants resigned, but not the powerful secretary for organization Fran Hervias (aka ''The Wolf''). Arrimadas won't count with the latter. She is totally opposed to regional leaders elected by membership, so the hyper centralized organizational model remains. The strategy of electoral alliances with the PP at regional level is partly motivated by the bad electoral prospects, but Arrimadas claims that Cs has its own niche and will run in its own in next general elections.
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« Reply #1412 on: March 02, 2020, 06:26:04 pm »

With expenditure ceiling passing, how likely is it that the budget passes?  My guess is any tax changes take effect in 2021 or do they impact 2020 tax year?  If budget fails it seems deadlock although like Israel election today possible last minute voters swing heavily in one direction to prevent another deadlock.
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Velasco
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« Reply #1413 on: March 03, 2020, 02:19:05 am »
« Edited: March 03, 2020, 04:20:36 pm by Velasco »

With expenditure ceiling passing, how likely is it that the budget passes?  My guess is any tax changes take effect in 2021 or do they impact 2020 tax year?  If budget fails it seems deadlock although like Israel election today possible last minute voters swing heavily in one direction to prevent another deadlock.

The expenditure ceiling is a first step, but ERC has the key to pass the budget and has conditioned its abstention to the "success" of negotiations. They should say the "narrative" about negotiations, because it's highly unlikely there are meaningful advances before the Catalan elections. With the current composition of parliament, Spain's political stability is conditioned to the political situation in Catalonia and the latter is quite complex and conditioned by the competition between the two main separatist forces (ERC vs JxCAT, Junqueras vs Puigdemont). I think it's in the ERC interest that the PSOE-UP coalition lasts, but who knows...

Do you mean the "Google Tax" and the likes? As far as I know, Spain and other European countries have been pressed by the Trump administration (there's a commercial war going on, triggered by the US) and the Spanish government would like to coordinate the implementation of taxes to internet giants (please note that some enterprises are bigger than medium-sized states) with France and other countries. In case you are referring to other taxes, please specify.

Thankfully Spain is not Israel. In any case, we haven't the full results of the Israeli elections and it's a bit early to talk about conclusive outcomes (it's clear that Bibi won, but he's on the brink of majority). Even though Pablo Casado is a rightwinger with aggressive rhetoric, he lacks the malice and talent for confrontation of Donald Trump or Benjamin Netanyahu. I think that only a catastrophic and unpredicted event can provoke a heavy swing in public opinion. Such eventualities have happened before (Madrid bombings in 2004, for instance), but I don't have a crystal ball to predict them
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« Reply #1414 on: March 03, 2020, 02:40:55 am »

With expenditure ceiling passing, how likely is it that the budget passes?  My guess is any tax changes take effect in 2021 or do they impact 2020 tax year?  If budget fails it seems deadlock although like Israel election today possible last minute voters swing heavily in one direction to prevent another deadlock.

The expenditure ceiling is a first step, but ERC has the key to pass the budget and has conditioned its abstention to the "success" of negotiations. They should say the "narrative" about negotiations, because it's highly unlikely there are meaningful advances before the Catalan elections. With the current composition of parliament, Spain's political stability is conditioned to the political situation in Catalonia and the latter is quite complex and conditioned by the competition between the two main separatist forces (ERC vs JxCAT, Junqueras vs Puigdemont). I think it's in the ERC interest that the PSOE-UP coalition lasts, but who knows...

Do you mean the "Google Tax" and the likes? As far as I know, Spain and other European countries have been pressed by the Trump administration (there's a commercial war going in, triggered by the US) and the Spanish government would like to coordinate the implementation of taxes to internet giants (please note that some enterprises are bigger than medium-sized states) with France and other countries. In case you are referring to other taxes, please specify.

Thankfully Spain is not Israel. In any case, we haven't the full results of the Israeli elections and it's a bit early to talk about conclusive outcomes (it's clear that Bibi won, but he's on the brink of majority). Even though Pablo Casado is a rightwinger with aggressive rhetoric, he lacks the malice andtalent for confrontation of Donald Trump or Benjamin Netanyahu. I think that only a catastrophic and unprotected event can provoke a heavy swing of public opinion. Such eventualities have happened before (Madrid bombings in 2004, for instance), but I don't have a crystal ball to predict them

I mean Bank tax and high earner's tax hike.  Last time high earners got hit some football players complained so would it impact 2020 salaries or only 2021?  Mind you even with hike top rates I believe will still be below France and Portugal while higher than Italy, Germany, and England and around the same as Netherlands.
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« Reply #1415 on: March 03, 2020, 02:37:43 pm »

I mean Bank tax and high earner's tax hike.  Last time high earners got hit some football players complained so would it impact 2020 salaries or only 2021?  Mind you even with hike top rates I believe will still be below France and Portugal while higher than Italy, Germany, and England and around the same as Netherlands.

The government just submitted the draft in Congress to implement the so-called 'Tobin Tax', which will take effect three months after its release in the Official Journal (later in this year). Apparently the tax to financial transactions will be set at 0.2% (France would be at 0.3%). Finance minister expects to raise about 850 EUR millions, a drop in the ocean.

Regarding the big fortunes, enhancing tax revenue implies the reform of corporate and income taxes. I get from the news that the government is developing measures to tax SICAVs* , but I can't tell much more at this moment.

*SICAV: A SICAV is an open-ended collective investment scheme common in Western Europe, especially Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Malta, France and Czech Republic.

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« Reply #1416 on: March 03, 2020, 05:28:28 pm »

I mean Bank tax and high earner's tax hike.  Last time high earners got hit some football players complained so would it impact 2020 salaries or only 2021?  Mind you even with hike top rates I believe will still be below France and Portugal while higher than Italy, Germany, and England and around the same as Netherlands.

The government just submitted the draft in Congress to implement the so-called 'Tobin Tax', which will take effect three months after its release in the Official Journal (later in this year). Apparently the tax to financial transactions will be set at 0.2% (France would be at 0.3%). Finance minister expects to raise about 850 EUR millions, a drop in the ocean.

Regarding the big fortunes, enhancing tax revenue implies the reform of corporate and income taxes. I get from the news that the government is developing measures to tax SICAVs* , but I can't tell much more at this moment.

*SICAV: A SICAV is an open-ended collective investment scheme common in Western Europe, especially Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Malta, France and Czech Republic.



I thought corporate tax rate would be 3% higher for banks than other corporations?  As for income taxes, isn't the plan a 2% hike on those making over 130,000 Euros and 4% on those making over 300,000 Euros and I know in past football players tend to complain every time top rates go up.  Depending on autonomous community, I believe football players would be taxed at 47.5% to 52% so not highest in Europe but as mentioned higher than Italy, Germany, and England while similar to Netherlands and slightly below Portugal and France.  So I was thinking more that.  I know in English speaking world, pushing top rates over 50% has often been criticized and I believe Sanchez's hike would put marginal rates over 300,000 Euros over 50% in majority of autonomous communities and over 50% on as little as 130,000 Euros in some, so I was wondering how likely this tax hike will be and if so, does it apply to 2020 year or only to 2021 year?  If to 2021 year, I would imagine some football players will want trades to lower taxed countries.
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Senator tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #1417 on: March 03, 2020, 05:59:24 pm »

Footballers will probably just dodge taxes. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (to put 2 famous examples) have been convicted of tax evasion, but were left free as they didn't have previous criminal records and their sentences were short.

Honestly I wish Messi and Ronaldo had gone behind bars for a while. It would have sent a powerful message to tax dodgers in the country; we should be more strict on that stuff.

I guess it also shows that I am not a soccer fan Tongue
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« Reply #1418 on: March 04, 2020, 06:50:54 am »
« Edited: March 04, 2020, 09:53:36 am by Velasco »

Last polls show Galicia premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo on the brink of losing majority

Celeste-Tel/eldiario.es

PP 36-38 (43.9%)
PSOE 20-22 (25.2%)
BNG 9 (13.6%)
Galicia in Common 8 (11.1%)
VOX 0 (2.9%)
Cs 0 (1.3%)

Very good for the PSOE. 38 seats needed for majority



Sigma Dos for Antena 3 / Sociométrica for El Español


PP 37-39 (46.9%) / 37-38 (46.2%)
PSOE 18-20 (24.4%) / 19-20 (22.3%)
BNG 14 (19%) / 9 (13.9%)
Galicia in Common 3-6 (7.3%) / 8 (10.2%)
VOX 0 (2.4%) / 1 (4.9%)
Cs 0 (0.7%) / NA

Sigma Dos predicts a bombastic result for the BNG, while Sociométrica predicts that Vox will jump into parliament with a single seat. I think the disparities in the results of the BNG and Galicia in Common (GeC: Podemos, IU, Anova, Mareas) are due to the interconnected voter bases and the low name recognition of the GeC camdidate. Podemos leader in Galicia Antón Gómez-Reino. However GeC has a big asset in the Spanish government with Labour minister Yolanda Díaz (IU member and close ally of Pablo Iglesias), who is revealing as the most efficient of the UP cabiinet members.

The worst scenario for Alberto Núñez Feijóo is losing majority (obviously), but another nightmarish scenario for him is falling short by one seat with Vox in parliament. The Galicia premier is a moderate within PP and the Galician branch of the conservatives has a regionalist character incompatible with Vox. For instance, Feijóo claims that Galicia is a "historical nationality", which is a very constitutional definition (article 2 mentions the existence of "regions" and "historical nationalities" within Spain). However, the allegedly 'constitutionalist' Vox stands for the recentralization of the state and rejects that definition.  


Basque Country polls: Sigma Dos / Sociométrica

EAJ-PNV 32-34 (41.9%) / 27 (37.3%)
EH Bildu 18-21 (23.1%) / 18 (22.2%)
PSE-PSOE 10-11 (14.8%) / 12 (14.1%)
Elkarrekin Podemos 6-8 (10.3%) / 10 (12%)
PP+Cs 4-5 (7.5%) / 7 (9.3%)
VOX 0 (1.2%) / 1 (3.1%)

Disparities in the results. As it happens with Galicia, Sociométrica predicts a shocking result with Vox jumping into regional parliament winning a single seat (presumably for Álava). Bad prospects for the PP+Cs alliance headed by Carlos Iturgaiz.

The recent collapse of a landfill in the Basque Country, with a massive dumpslide (thousands of tones) and two casualties, might have eroded somewhat the solid PNV grip on the region

https://elpais.com/politica/2020/02/13/actualidad/1581592963_032517.html
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« Reply #1419 on: March 04, 2020, 10:12:47 am »

Looking at polls I would actually be moving Galicia from tossup to Lean PP.

It seems to me the Vox vote will consolidate behind PP and that Feijoo is personally popular in a similar way to the Southern PSOE premiers like Guillermo Fernandez Vara (Extremadura) and Emiliano Garcia Page (Castille-La Mancha

Another interesting story in Galicia is the recent BNG surge. With a good campaign they could get a really good result, a big comeback from their miserable 2016 result

The Basque Country is still boring and a PNV lanfslide though I guess the recent landfill disaster mighg make them lose votes
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« Reply #1420 on: March 05, 2020, 01:49:31 pm »
« Edited: March 06, 2020, 05:34:37 am by Velasco »

The Spanish government approved recently a draft law to strengthen rape convictions

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/03/spain-approves-draft-law-to-strengthen-convictions

Quote
Spain’s leftwing government has approved a bill that would define all non-consensual sex as rape, acting on a pre-election promise to strengthen laws in defence of women’s rights.

Combating gender violence has been high on Spain’s political agenda since the 2016 “wolf pack” trial, in which five men were jailed for sexual abuse, but not rape, after gang-raping a young woman at the Pamplona running of the bulls festival.

Mass protests against that conviction, which attracted international attention in the wake of the global #MeToo movement, led to an appeal in 2019 in which the supreme court ruled the men had committed rape, not sexual abuse (...)  

The draft was prepared by the Equality minister Irene Montero (Podemos) and was presented after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday

https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-03-03/spanish-cabinet-takes-first-step-toward-major-overhaul-of-sexual-assault-laws.html

Quote
The legislation underwent a series of changes as recently as Monday, after it was debated with other ministries – in particular the Justice Ministry required modifications. The law includes changes to the Criminal Code, such as the classification of street harassment as a misdemeanor, punishable by house arrest, community work or a fine, and also includes planned changes for the sentencing of sexual offenses.

The comprehensive law pays particular attention to the prevention of sexual offenses, and includes education on equality and diversity in all levels of the education system. The draft legislation sets out a time frame of a year to decide whether gender violence courts should judge a particular case or if they should be passed to other specialized tribunals, ministry sources added.  

Last minute modifications triggered an argument between Irene Montero and Deputy PM Carmen Calvo, who was mediating between Equality and Justice departments. The tension between PSOE and UP representatives during technical discussions reveals an underground conflict for the leadership of the feminist movement, which is very important for both coalition partners. According to PSOE and UP sources quoted by El País, this cracks the coalition. Pablo Iglesias amplified the sensation of crisis suggesting without saying his name that the Justice minister is a "frustrated male chauvinist". We'll see if they manage to save the situation, but this argument breaks the image of unity and collaborative spirit cultivated the first two months. Equality affairs were previously managed by Carmen Calvo, who was initially reluctant to cede them to UP.

On the other hand, the management of the coronavirus crisis is being coordinated by the Health minister Salvador Illa (PSC) and an expert with remarkable communication skills called Fernando Simón, who has been praised for his efficiency and transparency. Pedro Sánchez has reinforced the powers of the Health Ministry after a relatively minor controversy caused by a guide released by the labour Ministry in its own.

In other news, a Swiss prosecutor is investigating an alleged million-euro donation to Corinna Larsen, who was the "special friend" of former king Jun Carlos

https://english.elpais.com/international/2020-03-05/swiss-prosecutor-investigating-alleged-million-euro-donation-to-friend-of-spains-former-king.html

Quote
A public prosecutor in Switzerland has been investigating a multi-million-euro donation received by Corinna Larsen, a friend of former Spanish King Juan Carlos I, from a Swiss bank account linked to a Panamanian foundation, according to a number of sources close to the judicial probe who have been consulted by EL PAÍS.

The documents where these payments are reflected were found during searches ordered by the prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, in the offices of the Geneva-based asset manager Arturo Fasana and the lawyer Dante Canonica, both of whom are linked to the network of companies that is currently being investigated by the prosecutor. Fasana was also investigated as part of the sprawling “Gürtel” case, a kickbacks-for-contracts network involving Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP). He was probed for having moved funds for the businessman at the center of that case, Francisco Correa.  

UP, Compromís and ERC have requested an inquiry commission in Congress, in order to investigate the "alleged corrupt activities" of the "emeritus" king Juan Carlos. This upsets the PSOE, which is nominally republican but supportive of constitutional monarchy. Socialists will oppose the commission arguing Juan Carlos is constitutionally inviolable.
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« Reply #1421 on: March 09, 2020, 02:03:37 pm »

Well, it seems coronavirus is taking all the national attention recently. As of now, all schools will be closed for 14 days in the province of Vitoria (Basque Country). Madrid has also closed all schools in the region. (Madrid and Vitoria are 2 of the 3 main outbreak centers, the last one being centered around the town of Haro in La Rioja).

A Lombardy-like lockdown of Madrid, while I think is unlikely, would be absolutely massive, especially considering it is the nation's capital.

Much like stock markets around the world, the Spanish stock market is also in free fall.

Certainly not the greatest situation out there.
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« Reply #1422 on: March 10, 2020, 06:27:20 am »



Holy crap VOX's Secretary General Javier Ortega Smith has Coronavirus.
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Velasco
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« Reply #1423 on: March 10, 2020, 09:46:13 am »

Vox is a virus, too
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« Reply #1424 on: March 11, 2020, 05:30:00 am »
« Edited: March 11, 2020, 05:37:41 am by Velasco »

Pedro Sánchez made a statement yesterday calling for calm and announcing the government will do whatever necessary in the "difficult weeks" ahead. Extraordinary cabinet meeting today

https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-03-11/spanish-pm-calls-for-calm-warns-of-difficult-weeks-ahead-in-face-of-coronavirus-crisis.html

Quote
In an atmosphere that reflected the complexity of the situation caused by the novel coronavirus crisis, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez spoke on Tuesday evening from La Moncloa prime ministerial palace to announce economic assistance for companies and families who are suffering from the epidemic. The aid will be particularly aimed at parents who are unable to go to work and need to take care of their children, as well as the sectors that have been most affected by the outbreak.

The Socialist Party (PSOE) politician also promised liquidity for small- and medium-sized companies, and warned that there would be “difficult weeks” ahead in Spain. He did, however, announce that he had achieved progress in a meeting with his European partners: the European Union would be more flexible on the deficit targets for the countries most affected by Covid-19, as the disease caused by the virus is known. This will include Spain and Italy.

    Faced with a complex crisis, the Spanish  

Valencia premier Ximo Puig announced yesterday the world famous Fallas fiestas will be postponed. On the other hand, egardless their recent differences, PSOE and UP are working together. Also, it's remarkable the cooperation between the central government and the different regional administrations, including thoise governed by PP and Cs (propped up by Vox) and the Catalan government.

As said before, Vox secretary general Javier Ortega Smith tested positive for coronavirus. The Vox leader attended several events before, including a crowded rally taking place last Sunday with some 9000 people. Later, Vox apologized for that

https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-03-10/secretary-general-of-spains-far-right-vox-party-tests-positive-for-coronavirus.html

Quote
The Spanish far-right party Vox confirmed on Tuesday that its secretary general, Javier Ortega Smith, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The group also apologized for organizing an event on Sunday in the Vistalegre arena in Madrid, which was attended by around 9,000 people.

The far-right party did not explain how Ortega Smith, who is a lawmaker in Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies and member of the Madrid local government, contracted the virus. In response to the situation, Vox said in a statement that its 52 deputies will work from home and not enter  

Previosuly Vox was developing a narrative on an alleged government's  "inaction" and criricized heavily the leftist coalition for allowing feminist demonstartions on the Inernational Women's Day, which attracted mass numbers last Sunday despite coronavirus fears

https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-03-09/womens-day-marches-in-spain-attract-mass-numbers-despite-coronavirus-fears.html

Quote
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Spain on Sunday evening to take part in marches called across the country for International Women’s Day. The reasons driving the protest were the same ones that inspired the mass demonstrations of the past two years: gender violence, the gender wage gap, sexism and the burden of non-remunerated work.

The strength of Spain’s feminist movement was just as evident as other years. From Bilbao in the northern Basque Country to the eastern region of Valencia, the streets were filled with people calling for greater gender equality. Turnout, however, was not as high as the 2018 and 2019 demonstrations, given the concerns over the coronavirus and the divisions within the women’s movement with respect to the transgender community.

Despite this, tens of thousands of people still took to the street – an indication that the feminist movement has perhaps the greatest capacity to mobilize, particularly in Spain which has some of the largest women’s marches in Europe. This year, all Spain’s political parties – with the exception of the far-right Vox – attended the demonstrations. Even the conservative Popular Party (PP), which did not attend previous marches, took part in the protest. Members of the center-right Ciudadanos were also present, but had to leave the march in Madrid after they were yelled at by some demonstrators for their dealings with Vox. Ciudadanos and the PP govern in several regional and local governments in Spain thanks to the support of the far-right group, which has used its parliamentary position as kingmaker to push for controversial policies like the so-called “parental veto,” which gives parents the right to stop their children from attending non-curricular classes on issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and teenage pregnancy.
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