A new political era may begin in Spain depending on the results of this Sunday’s election, which is among four candidates who represent differing parties and political views. Current Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy, leader of Spain’s conservative People’s Party, is being challenged by leaders of the Socialist Workers’ Party, Podemos Party and Ciudadanos Party.
The country has been through the economic ringer over the last year and a large majority of the voting population remains uncertain, explained NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D.“The current government has recovered some of its popularity as the economy has returned to some growth, but there are many who were once supporters of the [People’s] Party who have drifted away to centrist and leftist alternatives,” he said. “The real frustration seems to be with the corruption that has dogged the main parties and an ongoing impatience with the pace of growth. Spanish voters are sick of being the weak sister in Europe and are seeking anyone who promises something different.”
In November, the Catalonia parliament voted to adopt a resolution supporting its independence from Spain—a move that is unlikely to happen, yet exhibits the frustration that many people feel. “Clearly, the origin of the problem is linked to the sharp crisis suffered in Spain, intensified since 2010,” Joaquin Rodriguez Cazalla, credit manager for Holcim, S.A., in Madrid, explained to NACM in November. “The weakness of governments in the Mediterranean area has brought about different kinds of responses and a radicalization process of alternatives.”
Kuehl added, “The Spanish are angry—and that is something they share with most of the voters in Europe and the U.S. They want something to change and they are about ready to accept anything as long as it isn’t the status quo.”
- Jennifer Lehman, NACM marketing and communications associate