Europe’s Left-wing anti-austerity parties have claimed another victory after a surpise triumph in Spain’s local elections. The defeat of the two main parties that have dominated Spanish politics for more than 40 years means that a series of new Left-wing movements now hold the balance of power, inviting an unwelcome comparison with Greece. Across the country, even historical strongholds for the ruling Popular Party (PP) and the opposition socialist PSOE were rocked by the upsurge in support for recently formed groups, which can now hold the traditional parties to ransom as they try to form a ruling coalition. In all of Spain’s major cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, coalitions will be required.
“Spain’s political panorama has entered a new phase,” centre-right daily newspaper El Mundo wrote in an editorial, while centre-left El Pais said the results of Sunday’s elections marked “deep change”.
And, ahead of general elections due in November, there were fears that the country – with the eurozone’s fourth largest economy – could face a radical swing to the Left, similar to that in Greece.
“The prime minister thought that he could be like David Cameron, who a few weeks ago won an important victory for the British Right,” wrote El Mundo. “But instead, he is on the path towards becoming like former Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras.”