What are the principles of Podemos

Formation of government in SpainThe agony of choice

The Spaniards are just as perplexed on the streets as their politicians in parliament. They don't want a country without a government, and neither do they want the only possible stable coalition of conservatives and social democrats:

"They have to stand by the position that was represented before the elections. Not to support Rajoy. Otherwise they would betray their voters. The elections could also be repeated."

"Right now nobody gets along with anyone. I didn't want that either. It's an unbelievable mess."

Pablo Iglesias, whose party Podemos received almost 21 percent of the vote, is also uncompromising. He called for five new principles to be included in the Spanish constitution shortly after the elections. Including a referendum in Catalonia, a kind of citizen's vote of no confidence with which the Spaniards can vote out their government in the middle of a legislative period, or a guarantee of basic social rights.

"These five principles are indispensable for a new historic agreement. Now is the time for real statesmen. Now is not the time to negotiate ministerial chairs. The old politics is history."

Political future uncertain

So a constitutional reform as a prerequisite for coalition negotiations? Hard to imagine, because the majority would be extremely difficult for a left government, it would be an alliance of five or six parties. So Iglesias can't be really serious about this, believes José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the Madrid office of the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of a book about Podemos.

"The Spaniards distributed power among many, but did not say what the parties should do with it. So the politicians are a little disoriented. Podemos is convinced that you can achieve better results in new elections and outperform the Social Democrats and so on The party is inflexible. The exact opposite is the case with the Citizens Party. They want to support the Conservatives, so they would need the Social Democrats. Choosing the right strategy here is very difficult. For everyone, including the new parties, is it's a whole new situation. "

Because whether the Spaniards want politicians who are willing to compromise or if they see a move away from the maximum demands put forward in the election campaign as a betrayal of the will of the electorate - pollsters and sociologists do not know either. Torreblanca speculates that there are two equally strong currents.

"This is also new for the voters. We are now slowly feeling our way forward. Certainly the political stability was greater earlier, but it is questionable whether the so often cited common good was better protected in the past. Ultimately, the big parties all had." Control mechanisms switched off. So you don't have to be afraid of this confusion. The country has to develop a new political culture.

Grand coalition (still) unlikely

... but the beginning has been made: Podemos rules, for example, in Madrid or Barcelona with the support of the social democrats and supports the social democratic prime ministers in several regions of the country. In Andalusia, the Social Democrats rule with the help of the liberal party "The Citizens". Despite this, Podemos has not given up its claim to supremacy on the Spanish left, says Torreblanca. This struggle in the left-wing camp makes many Social Democrats - who this time ended up one and a half percentage points ahead of Podemos - less receptive to an alliance with such a powerful partner. A grand coalition of conservatives and social democrats, on the other hand, would be the most unpopular of the possible alliances, albeit the only stable one due to the distribution of seats:

"There has simply never been a grand coalition. In a few years the time could be ripe. But this requires a long-term culture of governance in a coalition with ideologically similar partners. Maybe we only need three months, everything is happening at the moment so fast. But a grand coalition can only come at the end of a learning curve. "

The Spanish Parliament meets on January 13th. Then the Spanish King Felipe VI. presumably entrust the incumbent Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with the formation of a government. But it still doesn't have a majority behind it. Many observers assume that new elections will be held by June at the latest. Until then, the Spaniards will hear a lot of campaign rhetoric from their politicians.