Politics dominate Spain’s festivities

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PM Mariano Rajoy on Monday met with Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera (pictured on left), as well as with Podemos head Pablo Iglesias , but with no progess toward any possible pacts or agreements to facilitate Rajoy's investiture (Photo: EPA)

By Dave Jamieson

THE political scene in Spain is taking little notice of the festive period as the main political parties struggle to form alliances in the hope of coming up with a viable coalition following the general election. The vote on December 20 left a confused picture after the governing Partido Popular won the majority of the 350 seats for their Deputies in the lower house with 28.72 per cent of the vote, but failed to gain an absolute majority.

The socialist PSOE party came second on 22.01 per cent, but new anti-austerity party Podemos was close behind on 20.65 per cent with the centrist Ciudadanos following on 13.93 per cent.

In his Christmas Eve message, King Felipe called for national unity in the wake of the election result. He said he hoped that, “the desire for understanding and a fraternal spirit, which are typical of this season, will always be present among us.” The King added that what should now matter “first and foremost” is “Spain and the general interest of the Spanish people.”

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