The electoral year in Spain has started with more turmoil and worse prospects than the Government had anticipated. In both the economic and political spheres, adverse circumstances have arisen for the Government, which has increased the opposition’s chances of victory for the time being. Spain will hold local and regional elections in May and general elections probably in December.
On the economic side, the month of February closed with the announcement of a 6.1% rise in year-on-year inflation. After another previous increase in the month of January, the increase in prices has become a fundamental problem for the Spanish economy. The Government, which had lowered the tax on some foods to alleviate this situation, had anticipated that inflation would begin to fall this year.
Added to this data was the announcement that one of the main Spanish multinationals, Ferrovial, has decided to move its headquarters to the Netherlands. Although the company will maintain its activity in Spain and will continue to be listed on the Spanish Stock Market, this measure has a negative symbolic value for the Government since it calls into question its business friendly policy.
In the political sphere, a case of corruption to which a MP from the main government party, the Socialist Party, appears linked, weakens the image of a Government that had made the fight against corruption a fundamental flag of its political action. Besides this, the serious errors in the application of a crucial law, known in Spanish as “Sólo sí es sí”, has turned part of women and the feminist movement against the Government.
As a consequence of all this, the main opposition party, the center-right Popular Party, has increased its lead in the polls. The popularity of the leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, already surpasses that of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez.