Spain. According to
COUNTRYAAH, The re-enacted political landscape in Spain paved
the way for an exciting election year and it was clear that
the two-party system that prevailed since the onset of
democracy in the late 1970s was overplayed. The new Left
Party Podemos ("We Can") rapid progress was mainly reflected
in a crusade for the Socialist Party (PSOE). On the right,
the ruling Conservative People's Party (PP) was challenged
by the central party Ciudadanos ("Citizens"), who had
previously worked primarily in Catalonia.
In the municipal and regional elections in May, the
electoral support for the PP which lost its own majority
held by the party in most of the 13 regions at stake.
However, PP remained the largest party, closely followed by
PSOE who also backed down. Podemos became the third largest
party with a seat in all the regional parliaments, while
Ciudadanos came in fourth place.
The parliamentary elections held in December reaffirmed
the trend: PP and PSOE lost some further and supported by
just under 29 and 22% of voters respectively, while Podemos
received almost 21% and Ciudadanos 14%. Neither the right or
left bloc gained their own majority and government formation
was expected to be difficult.
Political drama was also offered as Catalonia continued
to try to break away from Spain despite the central power.
Regional President Artur Mas announced a new election held
in September, which he explicitly called a vote on
independence. Three separatist parties, including Mas's
conservative government party CDC, together won just under
half the votes but a majority of the mandate. The newly
elected parliament voted in November to begin the path
towards proclaiming its own republic. Madrid then appealed
to the Constitutional Court, which annulled Catalan law and
threatened politicians with prosecution.
In June, King Felipe took away his sister Cristina the
title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. The reason was the
suspicions of tax breaks against her and her husband.
Despite widespread protests from both the opposition and
human rights organizations, new legislation came into force
at the end of the year, which restricted freedom of
expression and the right of demonstration. In accordance
with the "Monk Breeders Act", it was forbidden to criticize
the state and its representatives, film or photograph police
officers on duty and to attend public meetings if they were
not given permission.
The economy showed signs of recovery after several years
in deep weakening, with growth of around 3% and slowly