Had the two parties come to the same arrangement a couple of weeks ago they could have saved the country the need for a General Election but the seeming intransigence of the two leaders has cost taxpayers in the region of 200 million euro while the country is still no further forward.
Despite months of negotiations between the PSOE and Podemas to strike a governing deal following the poll held last April, the two leaders have done this deal less than 48 hours after Sunday’s vote. It is understood that in the terms of the agreement the Podemas leader, Pablo Iglesias, will become deputy Prime Minister.
The exercise also saw the two parties lose seats, 3 and 7 respectively, while it also fuelled the recovery of the Socialists’ arch-rivals on the right, the PP, which regained many of the seats that it lost in April’s ballot.
The emergence of the far right Vox party as a major political force in the country is also likely to hinder any attempts by Mr Sánchez to seek a conciliatory solution to the Catalan crisis.
The one other party that also saw a major reshuffle of its political fortunes was Ciudadanos which, seven months ago had 57 seats; now they have just 10, and the party’s leader, Albert Rivera, resigned from politics on Monday. The one local casualty from the C’s was former Orihuela Deputy Mayor Lopez Bas who also lost his seat in congress, a seat that he had held for just 7 months.
However, if the caretaker PM is to bring some stability to his government he will now need to enter into talks with the other political groups who supported his successful motion of no-confidence against former PP Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last summer in the move that saw the Socialist politician take power.
Sánchez has said that he is willing to negotiate with all political groups, except those that promote hate speech, in reference to the far-right Vox, one of the big winners of the election.