Fragmented Spanish General Election Results

The buzzword is ‘fragmented’ and looking at the Spanish General Election results from 20 December it’s not hard to see why. In the congress the PP won the popular vote with 123 seats but sustained major losses and fell well short of the magic figure of 176 to be able to claim an absolute majority. The PSOE had their worst night in recent history gaining 90 seats but the big winners on the night were “Podemos” who proved all the doubters wrong coming in with 69 seats if you include all their regional offshoots, not bad for a party less than 5 years old. Talking of new parties let’s not forget the Ciudadanos who came in with 40 seats, another stunning result that ends Spain’s 2 party political domination. 

In Ibiza the PP managed to win the popular vote in all municipalities except for Sant Josep where Podemos claimed victory. Again PSOE lost out to Podemos cutting into their vote and reducing them to 3rd place overall in the islands. As far as Balearic politics goes the PP will have 3 congress representatives in Madrid while PSOE and Podemos will have 2 each and Ciudadanos will have 1. Of the 8 Balearic representatives the politicians specifically from Ibiza will be Jose Vicente Mari Boso (PP), Santiago Mari (PP) and Sofia Hernanz (PSOE). These are the people who will ‘fight’ for Ibiza at central government. 

Boso, Mari and Hernanz

Spain now has an even split between the right and the left. In the blue/orange corner we have the PP/Ciudadanos and in the red/purple corner we have the PSOE/Podemos. 
So while PP and especially PSOE lick their wounds Podemos can now claim to be a major force in Spanish politics with their charismatic leader Pablo Iglesias leaving the door open for coalition negotiations. Alberto Riviera from the Ciudadanos has already claimed that he won’t enter into government but that could change quickly.  

As we saw in May’s local elections things are changing very quickly in Spanish politics where proportional representation enables new parties to get a foot in the door. The up side is that more people have a voice, the down side is that unstable governments create doubt. Interesting times indeed.

Ibiza Ecotax ‘Crisis’

crisis! what crisis?

Pressure is mounting on the Ibiza government after it was revealed that the island  will only receive 13% of funds from the new tourist ecotax that will be implemented in the spring of 2016. This is down from the 20% that was previously ‘agreed’. 

This is the 1st big challenge for the coalition government of PSOE/Podemos with Viviana de Sans of Podemos publically denouncing the  decision claiming that she didn’t know until the actual press conference announcing it. Strange indeed seeing that she’s Vice President? 

You always know there is a crisis when the president of the council comes out and claims that “there is no crisis” and this is exactly what Vicent Torres did yesterday trying to play down events however this political hot potato refuses to go away. 

Opposition spokesman Vicente Roig from the PP has jumped all over the issue too citing this as weak leadership from Torres and an example of the clear divisions within the coalition. 

Juanjo Riera, President of the Ibiza and Formentera Hotel Association, has once again come out strongly against the tax and claiming it’s another example of Mallorca riding roughshod over the other islands saying its another ‘submission’ to the largest Balearic island and seat of the Balearic parliament. 

Sr Riera was unequivocal in his tirade saying “regardless of political party , (Ibiza) people are tired of always giving in to Mallorca, it’s shameful and not just in this (political) term”. 

Lucas Prats, head of promotion for Ibiza tourism has also said it’s a ‘mistake’ further heaping pressure on the island council. 

The 2002 ecotax was seen a massive vote loser for the then socialist government after it was implemented badly and it appears that the 2016 version is going the same way. Watch this space as this is the story that keeps giving which is ironic really as the ecotax appears that it will be taking lots from Ibiza and putting very little back.