We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

September 29, 2016

The PSOE's slow-motion implosion

The PSOE is in an open internal conflict after 17 members of its federal executive commission resigned yesterday to force the ouster of party leader Pedro Sánchez, which together with three earlier vacancies brings the executive down to 18 members out of its original 38. That the move was expected since Monday does not lessen the shock of it. At the moment opinions range from calling the move a coup by the party machine to those seeing it as a necessary measure to save the party from Sánchez. El País, which carries a lot of weight with the PSOE base but probably much less than thirty or even ten years ago, writes in an editorial that any level-headed party leader would have resigned after the poor results in the regional elections held in Galicia and the Basque country last weekend, but that Sánchez is "a fool without scruples." 

The rebellion against Sánchez was precipitated by his decision to call a party congress in six weeks' with a leadership contest in mid-october. His internal opponents would have preferred him to resign, allowing them to set up a steering committee that would have diluted the responsibility of abstaining to enable Mariano Rajoy to renew his PM mandate. Sánchez instead doubled down on his intention to seek an alternative majority to Rajoy, with Podemos and the centre-right Basque and Catalan nationalists if necessary - given that Ciudadanos excludes a deal with Podemos and insists the responsible thing is for the PSOE to allow the PP to govern. Much of the manoeuvering within the Socialist party since the elections last December has been about preventing Sánchez from making a deal with Podemos and the Catalan separatists. Former PSOE leader Felipe González is widely seen as having triggered the rebellion with a radio interview yesterday, in which he said he felt deceived by Sánchez - who according to González had told him after the June elections that he would allow a Rajoy minority government. Sánchez responded that the decision to vote no to Rajoy had been taken by the party's federal committee. 

What will happen now? El País' editorial articulates the argument of the rebels: that the resignations should give way to a steering committee which should call a party congress after Spain has a government, and that Sánchez' refusal to step down even now sets the PSOE on a course to self-destruction. The interpretation of the loyalists is that the PSOE bylaws require the now decimated executive commission to call a meeting of the nearly 300-strong federal committee which must then call a party congress to appoint a new executive. In the meantime, the critics claim that the current executive is effectively dissolved and cannot continue to function. The executive commission, which meets this morning, had already convened a federal committee this coming Saturday, to vote on Sánchez' proposed congress and leadership contest. The most likely outcome is that the Saturday meeting will go ahead as planned, and will decide whether to hold the congress immediately according to Sánchez' plan, or to appoint a steering committee. 

What does this mean for Spain's government? There are three scenarios under which Mariano Rajoy can be voted as PM before November 1st, when the parliament would be dissolved for new elections. Either a PSOE steering committee gets appointed this weekend and decides the party will abstain to wave Rajoy through; or Sánchez will get his congress but lose it - presumably to Andalusian regional premier Susana Díaz; or after Sánchez wins the congress a small group of PSOE MPs break ranks and abstain on Rajoy anyway. Rajoy needs eleven abstentions to become PM, or only one if he can convince the Basque nationalist PNV to vote for him in exchange for PP support for the PNV in the Basque country. Even if Sánchez wins the PSOE congress and keeps control of his parliamentary group, the odds that he can successfully negotiate an alternative majority to Rajoy are slim. In the best scenario he would have a week after the leadership contest to get appointed PM.

Repeat elections would probably not take place on Christmas day, but a week earlier, on December 18. The political parties have struck a deal that will allow them to reform the election law to shorten by one week the time between when elections are called and election day. This is expected to make it through parliament by the end of October.

Show Comments Write a Comment

September 29, 2016

Are there legal obstacles to Brexit? We don't think so

There will be many hurdles on the way to Brexit, setbacks and surprises. We cannot think of a scenario that would put Brexit itself at risk, but this is not going to be a straight-line process. A reminder of that was yesterday's ruling by a high court judge that the government must release secret legal arguments in defence of its refusal to let parliament vote on the Article 50 decision. Some see the vote as an omen for the hearing on October 13 and 17, which is about the actual legal case whether the government can trigger Art 50 on its own. Though the judge cites the principle of open justice in defence of his decision to force the publication of the documents, we find it hard to see why that decision should prejudice the actual case. The British government's position is that the referendum had been approved by an act of parliament, and the people have taken a decision. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU or to rejoin it through the back door. The legal justification for the government to act on its own is based on the idea that the referendum result needs to be respected.

We noted a Twitter exchange in which Andrew Duff (@AndrewDuffEU) made a salient point. Even if this goes to parliament, MPs will still decide to trigger Art 50 especially now, after Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership contest. The main problem with parliamentary oversight is that the House of Lords, which is predominantly pro-EU, might use its powers to delay the process. 

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • February 06, 2018
  • Ciudadanos rising
  • Meet the rising star of Dutch populism
  • What to watch out for in British politics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 24, 2018
  • AfD europhobe to chair of Bundestag's budget committee
  • Watch out for the Labour Party debate on the single market
  • On the productivity puzzle
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 11, 2018
  • The horse taming the dragon - really?
  • Budget contributions for market access?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • December 15, 2017
  • Amendment 9 conundrum
  • The negligible GDP impact of the single market
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • December 01, 2017
  • Unemployment insurance for all - nice idea, but does it work?
  • Hard border paradox
  • Could Jeremy Corbyn be the politician to defeat the banks?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 17, 2017
  • Germany's climate change hypocrisy
  • Canada minus the plus
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 02, 2017
  • The Impact of Brexit
  • German court of auditors questions diesel tax break
  • On trade and violence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 18, 2017
  • Veneto and Lombardy to vote on autonomy
  • Portugal's president calls on government over fires
  • Radical ideas for radical times: how to pay off public debt
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 03, 2017
  • A short note about UK politics
  • The impact of the German elections on the euro debate
  • The decline and fall of Martin Schulz and the SPD
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 01, 2017
  • Rutte deflates Dutch labour party like a hot air balloon
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 28, 2017
  • German government bans Porsche Cayenne
  • More troubles for the AfD
  • Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 21, 2017
  • Why has the SPD deflated?
  • Berlusconi’s strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 01, 2017
  • On how to fix the eurozone
  • What happens if there is no Article 50 agreement?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 27, 2018
  • Irish transport prepares for Brexit scenarios
  • One last Dutch referendum
  • Is the CDU a conservative party?
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 02, 2017
  • Juncker's scenarios for Europe
  • EU minimum wages are rising
  • No, the Lords didn’t stop Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 15, 2017
  • A Christmas bonus for poor Greeks
  • Dim prospects of negotiated de-escalation on Catalonia
  • Macron's favourite to succeed Juncker - first round
  • On sovereignty
  • Gli Azzurri
  • February 03, 2017
  • The Schulz effect is getting huge
  • The post-Brexit boom goes on and on and on
  • A correction on Catalonia
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • December 01, 2016
  • Will Italian expats swing the referendum result?
  • Why we keep on misreading the polls
  • Si vis pactum, para bellum
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 20, 2018
  • Macron at home
  • EU has rejected all UK proposals on Northern Irish border
  • Could there be a Five Star-Forza Italia government?
  • October 19, 2017
  • Germany is softening up over Brexit
  • The French budget and the wealthy
  • Will Borut Pahor win re-election as Slovenian president?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • October 21, 2016
  • Wallonia says No for the third time
  • Do you remember that Dutch referendum on Ukraine?
  • How narratives are destroying the EU
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • January 30, 2018
  • Will Puigdemont be Catalan premier today?
  • Some thoughts about the German car industry
  • A short note on Italian coalition maths
  • September 22, 2017
  • The last German polls
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 25, 2018
  • Trump's car tariff to come early
  • On the lack of a sharp focus in the eurozone debate
  • May 21, 2018
  • Another snap election in the UK? Tories are preparing
  • Merkel and Putin - the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
  • April 17, 2018
  • CDU's executive committees reaffirms eurosceptic position
  • Macron in Strasburg
  • March 16, 2018
  • Pellegrini to succeed Fico
  • Slovenia may go to early elections in late May
  • The case for crypto-currencies
  • February 12, 2018
  • What the euro debate is really about
  • How Brexit can still falter
  • January 10, 2018
  • Yes, the choice is between Canada and Norway
  • Who is resisting Macron and his government?
  • Greece and Macedonia to solve name dispute
  • December 11, 2017
  • A new era for the French right
  • Growing scepticism of a grand coalition
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • September 19, 2017
  • German populist vote - as seen from the outside
  • May's total Brexit power grab
  • August 25, 2017
  • Whatever happened to red-red-green?
  • Reshuffle - Greek edition
  • Is the Norway option really dead?
  • July 31, 2017
  • Russia sanctions bill becomes US law
  • Spain's Guardia Civil in the eye of the Catalan storm
  • A grand bargain between France and Germany
  • July 07, 2017
  • Is Emmanuel Macron just another Matteo Renzi?
  • The real obstacles to a Brexit deal
  • Why Nordstream 2 should be delayed
  • On why the G20 won’t solve the main problem
  • June 14, 2017
  • Minority governments can be stronger and more stable than you think
  • The anti-Corbyn
  • Watch out for Berlusconi
  • May 23, 2017
  • When events intrude
  • On Italy's obsession with voting systems
  • May 02, 2017
  • An accident waiting to happen
  • Matteo Renzi wins PD primaries
  • So much for the Schulz effect
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • March 23, 2017
  • Slow-motion train crash in Catalonia
  • Plan B for the Republicans?
  • March 05, 2017
  • Poland vs Tusk
  • Juppé - a recovered candidate?
  • Will Italy leave the euro?
  • February 17, 2017
  • Watch out for instability of the Balkans
  • The economic consequences of Trump for Europe
  • On muddled thinking in Ireland
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • January 19, 2017
  • Something not quite right about the transitional deal
  • Why Trump was right on Europe
  • Can the internet predict better than polls?
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • December 19, 2016
  • Inside the customs union, outside the single market
  • Back to the future in Italy
  • The lessons from Fillon's first gaffe
  • Montebourg - a bit of everything
  • The Maastricht error
  • If Paul Romer is right...
  • December 05, 2016
  • Tu felix Austria
  • All eyes on Valls
  • Discrimination is the issue, not deportation
  • What do these men have in common?
  • November 25, 2016
  • Unstoppable Fillon
  • To disengage or not from Turkey
  • Spain's opposition scores minimum wage victory in parliament
  • Can Tony Blair succeed to undo Brexit?
  • November 16, 2016
  • Signal-to-noise ratio - Brexit edition
  • Rodrick on the duplicity of his profession
  • November 07, 2016
  • Why UK elections are becoming more likely
  • The EU's moral bankruptcy on Turkey
  • Merkel's presidential mess
  • The case for a No vote in Italy
  • October 31, 2016
  • Will the quake help Renzi?
  • Is Montebourg an alternative to Hollande?
  • The trials of Geert Wilders
  • October 24, 2016
  • Ceta - the next deadline
  • Who will lead Germany?
  • Peasant party upsets Lithuanian election
  • Ségolène Royal, seriously?
  • October 17, 2016
  • Ceta is dead for now
  • L’après-Hollande, c'est Hollande
  • SPD against Russia sanctions
  • Nissan to join customs union and other fanciful tales
  • October 10, 2016
  • Waking up to the hardness of Brexit
  • October 06, 2016
  • May-ism
  • Steinbrück takes the revolving door
  • Mobilising the left for Republican primaries?
  • October 03, 2016
  • Hard, harder, hardest
  • PSOE cuts its nose to spite its face
  • In defence of Jeremy Corbyn
  • September 30, 2016
  • High drama in the PSOE
  • What happened to Montebourg?
  • Why a hard Brexit is not inevitable
  • September 29, 2016
  • The PSOE's slow-motion implosion
  • Are there legal obstacles to Brexit? We don't think so