Spanish acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez: main obstacle to a deal has been Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias’s insistence on a ministerial post. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez

Socialist Sánchez seeks Podemos backing ahead of crunch votes

People pay tribute to victims in Canaletas square, Barcelona, August 18th, 2017. Fourteen people died after Younes Abouyaaquob drove a van into pedestrians on the Ramblas boulevard the previous  day. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Imam who masterminded the 2017 strike had been acting as an informant

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez (left)  with Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias. To be sworn in again as prime minister Mr Sanchez will need Podemos  support. Photograph: Getty

Political in-fighting threatens the formation of national and Madrid administrations

Supporters of Catalan independence protest outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday  at the fact that three elected Catalan MEPs were not allowed to take their seats for its inaugural session. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Independence movement frustrated by lack of support in Europe and block on MEPs

The basilica of the Valle de los Caidos (The Valley of the Fallen) outside Madrid, where former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is buried. Photograph:  Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

Nuncio criticises Socialist government plan to exhume remains of dictator

Madrid’s Retiro Park in Madrid: The Socialist Party of Pedro Sánchez requires the support of other parties for Mr Sánchez to win an investiture vote.  Photograph: Juan Medina

Fragmented parliament leaves country in political limbo two months after elections

Dancers in Madrid during the 2018 Gay Pride parade. The Madrid government is being accused of censoring pro-LGBT publicity ahead of this year’s festivities. Photograph: Mario Roldan/via Getty Images

Controversial changes to poster campaign ahead of annual event

Angel Boza, a member of the group known as the ‘Wolf Pack’, who have had their jail sentences  increased from nine years to 15.  Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Five men convicted last year for an attack on a woman in 2016 have sentences increased

Barcelona’s new mayor Ada Colau (centre) walks next to Jaume Collboni, Ernest Maragall and Manuel Valls after her swearing-in ceremony, at Sant Jaume square on June 15th. Photgraph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Macron alarmed as Spanish centrists Ciudadanos forms governing alliances with far right

Portraits of Catalan separatists leaders:   the case is widely seen as the most important, and politically charged,  in Spain’s modern era. Photograph: Luis  Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Politically charged court case draws to a close after four months

Catalonia’s former vice-president and elected member of parliament Oriol Junqueras: in jail since autumn 2017. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty

UN working group calls for prisoner release amid claims members have political links

Socialist party  candidate for European elections Josep Borrell and Spanish acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez address the media following election results at party headquarters in Madrid on May 27th. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Pedro Sánchez’s party dominates in elections but right takes the capital

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez: “Today we decide the future of Europe and of Spain for the next few years,” he tweeted before voting in Madrid. Photograph: Javier Soriano

Far-right Vox adds seats in EU parliament to recent local Andalucía and national wins

A municipal worker packs ballot papers for distribution to polling stations in Barcelona. Photograph: Enric Fontcuberta

Parties jostle as regional, municipal and EU elections held on same day

Jailed Catalan politician Oriol Junqueras takes the oath as a deputy during the first session of parliament following a general election in Madrid. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Pool via Reuters

Spain’s new parliamentary speaker appeals for consensus

 Imprisoned Jordi Sanchez, MP-elect for Catalan party Junts per Catalunya, beside party spokeswoman Laura Borràs at the Spanish parliament on Monday. Photograph:  JJ Guillen/EPA

Pro-independence MPs have been on trial for rebellion but won seats in election

European brown bear  foraging in Alpine pasture in the Pyrenees.  French representatives met with Spanish experts on Friday to discuss  biodiversity issues in the Pyrenees including the challenges presented by the brown bear. Photograph: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images

Animals reintroduced into wild blamed for attacks on sheep

Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea, also known as Josu Ternera, in Bilbao in 2002. Ternera read the communiqué which formalised Eta’s termination in May 2018. Photograph: Alfredo Aldai/EPA

Josu Ternera wanted in connection with 1987 bombing that killed 11 in Zaragoza

Spanish matador Morante de la Puebla touches the horn of a bull during a bullfight at The Maestranza bullring in the Andalusian capital of Seville.  Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Matador’s curious gesture at Seville’s spring festival angers animal rights campaigners

Carles Puigdemont: hopes to lead the pro-independence Together for Catalonia-Free for Europe (JxCat) electoral ticket in the May 26th ballot, even though he is in self-imposed exile in Belgium. Photograph: Clement Rossignol

Puigdemont hopeful MEP immunity will allow him to return from exile to Spain

Spain’s prime minister and socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez shakes hands with supporters outside the party headquarters following the general election in Madrid on Sunday. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

Election restores party of PM Pedro Sánchez to status as Spain’s primary political force

Supporters of the Spanish far-right Vox party follow the official results on election night in Madrid. Photograph: Oscar del Pozo

Pedro Sánchez’s party falls short of majority as Popular Party suffers historic losses

Main candidates for Spanish general election: People’s Party’s Pablo Casado, prime minister and Socialist Workers’ Party Pedro Sanchez, Ciudadanos’s Albert Rivera and Unidas Podemos’s Pablo Iglesias. Photograph: Sergio Perez

Catalan independence key issue in country’s third general election in less than four years

Popular Party candidate Pablo Casado greets a group of supporters during his visit to Pamplona, Spain, during the electoral campaign. Photograph: Inaki Porto/EPA

Popular Party’s Pablo Casado has ramped up his fiery rhetoric in a bid to become PM

Spanish centre-right Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera, centre, at a campaign rally in the Spanish Basque city of Renteria on Sunday ahead of the April 28th general elections. Photograph:  Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Political right recall terrorist group, which disbanded last year

Podemos MPs Pablo Iglesias and partner Irene Montero: Podemos and its allies on the left have expressed frustration at how scandals have failed to prompt a full parliamentary investigation. Photograph: Oscar del Pozo/AFP/Getty

Podemos among targets of political spying, theft and smears as ‘state sewers’ stay active

View of Ceuta from the city’s centre. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Vox expected to perform well in elections in Ceuta and Melilla on anti-immigrant platform

The El Tarajal border point between Ceuta and Morocco. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Young migrants in North African city of Ceuta dream of mainland Europe

A photograph taken in January of Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (right) welcoming Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez at the National Palace in Mexico City. Photograph: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images.

Spanish king and Pope Francis receive letters requesting atonement

Catalan independence leaders  at the start of their trial at the supreme court in Madrid on February 12th. Photograph: Emilio Naranjo/Reuters

Intervention a notable victory for independence movement in its quest for international support

Catalan regional president Quim Torra smiles surrounded by yellow ribbons  during a plenary session at the Catalan Parliament, in Barcelona. Photograph:  EPA/ Alejandro Garcia

Electoral board ordered removal of symbols supporting prisoners

Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), funded by Spain, was the first man to circumnavigate the globe and the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Spanish academy of history claims Magellan’s feat as Spain’s, to Portugal’s dismay

A scene from the Kamikaze theatre company’s play about the notorious sexual assault of a young woman in Pamplona in 2016. Photograph: Vanessa Rábade

Hyper-realist theatre production uses original courtroom transcripts

A video-grab  of the speaker of the Catalan regional parliament, Roger Torrent, as he testified  at the supreme court in Madrid in the so-called “process” trial against 12 Catalan separatists leaders. Photograph: EPA

Officers did not use undue force during referendum, witnesses claim

Former Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy testifies during the trial of jailed Catalan separatist leaders at the supreme court in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

Former prime minister Rajoy a witness in rebellion case

 Following the trial of Catalonian leaders on a screen in Barcelona, on Thursday. The trial is being held at the supreme court in Madrid. Photograph: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA

Former prime minister Mariano Rajoy is due to take the stand as a witness next week

Aer Lingus was acquired by the Willie Walsh-led IAG in 2015. Photograph: Frank Grealish

Aer Lingus and Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling are owned by UK holding firm IAG

Íñigo Errejón, former deputy leader of Podemos, and Podemos leader  Pablo Iglesias in October 2016. File photograph: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Infighting, policy clashes and Venezuelan crisis leave leftist party in near-chaos

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez delivers an institutional statement after an extraordinary cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Madrid, on Friday. Photograph: Chema Moya/EPA

Popular Party leader Pablo Casado described the PM as a ‘criminal’ who has committed high treason

 Video-grab of defendant Oriol Junqueras, former Catalan regional deputy president, testifying in a   case against 12 Catalan pro-independence politicians involved in the illegal referendum in 2017. Photograph: Spanish Supreme Court’s Institute

Former vice-president Oriol Junqueras faces rebellion charge in high-profile Madrid trials

Nine of the 12 people on trial are former members of the Catalan cabinet. Photograph:  Emilio Naranjo Pool/Getty Images

Pro-independence leader Puigdemont appeals for EU to condemn Spanish legal process

Jailed catalan separatists leaders Jordi Sànchez, Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Cuixart, Josep Rull and Raul Romeva inside Lledoners jail in Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, 50km from Barcelona. Photograph:  Omnium Cultural/AFP)

Madrid election rumours rife as rebellion and sedition court case gets under way

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s fragile government will need the backing of the two Catalan pro-independence parties in parliament in order to approve the 2019 budget. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Spain PM suffers backlash as government seeks independent figure to facilitate talks

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez makes a statement on Venezuela at La Moncloa palace in Madrid on Monday. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Close ties with South American country make crisis a major issue in Spanish domestic politics

Pictures of jailed Catalan pro-independence leaders are held up during a demonstration in Barcelona, on Friday, in support of 12 pro-independence leaders that were transferred from Barcelona to Madrid ahead of the start of their trial. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Twelve independence leaders to be tried by Spanish supreme court over events in 2017

Jose Rosello and Victoria Garcia, the parents of the two-year-old boy found after falling into a deep borehole near Málaga. Photograph: Gregorio Marrero/AP

Body of two-year-old Julen Roselló Jiménez found nearly two weeks after fall near Málaga

Taxi drivers protest in Barcelona at what they claim is a failure by authorities to regulate the activities of digital ride-sharing companies. Photograph: EPA

Strike causes widespread disruption in Madrid and Barcelona

The narrow borehole in which a two-year-old fell down in Malaga. Photograph: Malaga Fire brigades/EPA

Two-year-old fell into 25cm-wide, 110m-deep hole on Sunday in Totalán, southern Spain

Spain’s far-right Vox party regional candidate Francisco Serrano delivers a speech next to leader Santiago Abascal as they celebrate results after the Andalusian regional elections in Seville. Photograph: Marcelo Del Pozo/File Photo/Reuters

Vox party ensures bullfighting and hunting get boost under new administration

The Lego A/S store in Copenhagen, Denmark, says it has to prioritise certain language versions and is not able to provide information in every language. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Companies face legal action for not using Catalan in packaging and instructions

Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain’s far-right party Vox. Vox has vowed to fight against what Mr Abascal calls “the dictatorship of the politically correct”, including a growing campaign for women’s rights. Photograph: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images

Vox’s support needed to form new right-wing government in Andalucía

Catalan pro-independence supporters take part in a demonstration under the motto “Let’s overturn the regime”, in Barcelona,  Spain, on Friday.  Photograph: Toni Albir/EPA

Worryingly for the prime minister, there are now voices of dissent within his Socialist Party

Riot police clash with supporters of Catalan independence during a protest in Barcelona on Friday. Photograph: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Madrid government claims trip will boost chances of Catalan solution

The Casa Llotja de Mar building in  Barcelona, where Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez is due to gather his cabinet on Friday. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

A day of planned demonstrations in the city follows a year of turmoil for Catalonia

Banner of Josep Rull during a demonstration in July. The Catalan government says Rull has lost 7kg in weight since beginning a hunger strike in prison earlier this month. Photograph: Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Interview: Imprisoned politician Josep Rull awaits trial for rebellion

Catalan president Quim Torra: accused of invoking a civil conflict that caused dozens of deaths. Photograph: Toni Albir/EPA

Quim Torra’s allusion to violent route to independence draws widespread criticism

The far-right Vox party leader Santiago Abascal: said it would “never be an obstacle” to a new government. Photograph: Luca Piergiovanni/EPA

Election leaves conservatives seeking backing of Vox to form new government

Ángel Boza, one of the members of so-called Wolfpack, leaves the higher court of justice of Navarre on Wednesday after being released on bail. Photograph: Raul Caro/EPA

Five men convicted of sexually abusing woman at Pamplona festival but absolved of rape

People hold Spanish flags during a demonstration called by the far-right party Vox against Catalan separatists on December 1st in Madrid. The Catalonia issue was a significant factor in Vox’s success in Andalusian elections.  Photograph: Oscar Del Pozo/AFP/Getty Images

Vox party hails performance in Socialist stronghold as part of ‘Reconquest’ of Spain

Key Andalusia vote opens electoral cycle and may set tone for other poll outcomes

Spanish construction workers walk through Gibraltar streets. Photograph: A.Carrasco Ragel/EPA

Prime minister Pedro Sánchez says he will vote against document as it stands

Supporters of Spain’s late dictator Francisco Franco give fascist salutes at Madrid’s Plaza de Oriente. Photograph: Paul Hanna

Anniversary of dictator’s death marked as exhumation controversy continues to rage

The European Union flag and the Spanish flag are seen on a building in Madrid. The draft Brexit agreement includes a Gibraltar-specific protocol creating several working groups between Madrid and London. File photograph: Reuters

Spain sees upside of draft Brexit deal

 A woman holding a placard against the supreme court decision that clients and not banks pay the tax on mortgages. Photograph: Ramon Costa/SOPA Images/LightRocket

Several recent cases have dealt a blow to the credibility of the Spanish judiciary

Banco Santander: Spain’s mortgage tax varies from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent of the loan, depending on where it is collected. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Controversial legal U-turn made amid fears of homeowner lawsuits seeking backdating

Catalan regional president Quim Torra  who said on Friday that Madrid had “missed an opportunity to take the judicial dimension out of a conflict that is political”. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Spanish government accused of meddling in judicial process

A  placard displaying pictures of Franco and  Hitler during a rally  in Madrid, held last week  against the proposal of moving Franco’s remains to Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral. Photograph: Oscar Del Pozo/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid hoped church would help solve conundrum over dictator’s exhumation

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez chairs the weekly cabinet meeting  on Friday, in Seville. Photograph: José Manuel Vidal/EPA

Upcoming trial of 18 independence leaders sparks tension in Madrid

The basilica at the Valley of the Fallen in San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid, where Francisco Franco is buried. Photograph: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty

Franco’s remains could end up in Madrid cathedral, making it a mecca for extremists

Inés Madrigal, who was abducted as a baby in 1969, speaking to journalists outside a Madrid court on Monday.   She described the verdict as “bittersweet”. Photograph: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

Eduardo Vela found guilty, but statute of limitations means he avoids jail

Catalan regional President Quim Torra: street demonstrators booed him for failing to be strident enough in defiance of the Spanish state. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Fate of jailed and exiled politicians highlights rift between leading secessionist parties

Catalonian regional president Quim Torra: said violence had no place in the independence movement. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

Madrid must agree to binding independence poll by November, says Quim Torra

A student draped in the Spanish national flag stands between Catalan pro-independence students during a student demonstration “1-O, No Oblivion, neither Pardon” on the first anniversary of the Catalan independence referendum, in Barcelona. Photograph: Quique Garcia

Spanish region’s president Quim Torra criticised for praising separatist ‘pressure’

Unionist activists removing Catalan independence symbols in Canet de Mar.  Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Spanish region is split between unionists and separatists, a year on from independence vote

Pro-independence flags on bridge over Catalonia’s AP7 motorway. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

A year on from Catalan referendum, tensions still simmer over independence from Madrid

Spanish justice minister Dolores Delgado: relationship with a jailed former policeman is threatening to destabilise the Socialist government. Photograph:   Fernando Villar/EPA

String of scandals and U-turns puts pressure on Socialist PM Pedro Sánchez

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez: said the allegations were part of an attempt by parties on the political right to discredit him. Photograph:  Mariscal/EPA

Pedro Sánchez’s doctoral thesis is ‘a piece of rubbish’, says newspaper

People wave pro-independence Catalan flags during a demonstration in Barcelona. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

National day celebrations, known as Diada, bring hundreds of thousands on to streets

Catalonian regional president Quim Torra  at the National Theatre of Catalonia in Barcelona, on Tuesday. “We will never renounce our right to self-determination,” Mr Torra said. Photograph:  Alejandro Garcia/EPS

Torra references Martin Luther King and calls on Catalans to take to the streets

Seventy per cent of under-threes in Spain are not in child care

A man runs after over 100 migrants forced their way into the Spanish territory of Ceuta in north Africa:  10  migrants at the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave were arrested on August 28th, 2018. Photograph: Joaquin Sanchez

Perceived U-turn prompts left to condemn Socialist policy while EU’s far right approves

Yellow ribbons shaped as a cross are placed on a beach near Barcelona in support of  jailed Catalan separatist leaders on May 27th, 2018. Photograph: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty

Pro-independence ribbons in public places prompt fears of political violence in Spain

Luis Magallanes with pianist and humanitarian Gabriella Montero.

Opera singer Luis Magallanes: ‘I’ve gone from a humanitarian crisis to being here’

The basilica at the Valley of the Fallen in San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid. Photograph: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

Decree means dictator’s remains will be removed from Valley of Fallen mausoleum

Number of young people falling to their deaths when attempting to jump from balconies

Spanish minister for territorial policy Meritxell Batet at the Moncloa palace in Madrid. Photograph: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish minister Meritxell Batet on her government’s detente with Catalan leaders

 The new leader of the Spanish conservative Popular Party, Pablo Casado, reacts after being elected to the position  at the party’s national congress, in Madrid. Photograph: ZIPI/EPA

Pablo Casado promises a return to traditional conservative values for Popular Party

 Popular Party leadership candidate  Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría  in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

As the Popular Party chooses a new leader, members grapple with a threat of extinction

Catalonia’s ousted leader Carles Puigdemont at a press conference in Berlin in May 2018. A Spanish judge has dropped a European arrest warrant for Mr Puigdemont. Photograph:  Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish supreme court backtracks in Carles Puigdemont case following German ruling

The Korrika race in Bayonne in southwest France is held annually to promote the Basque language Euskara. Alongside the Basque autonomous community, the northern Spanish region of Navarre and southern France also have substantial Basque-speaking populations. Photograph: Nicolas Mollo/AFP/Getty Images

Euskera speakers on the rise, although some see it as politically tainted

 Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont: prosecutors said they would soon decide whether to authorise his extradition. Photograph:  Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Carles Puigdemont could be extradited to face trial for misuse of public funds

 Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, welcomes Catalan regional president, Quim Torra (right),  at La Moncloa Palace, in Madrid, Spain. Photograph: EPA/Ballesteros

Prime minister meets with region’s leader Quim Torra in Madrid

Rescued Spanish citizen Patricia Aguilar, who disappeared in 2017 and has lived with a sect in a remote jungle region of Peru. Photograph:  AFP Photo/Municipality of San Martin de Pangoa

Man arrested after allegedly keeping women as slaves

Spain’s King Felipe VI with Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Catalan regional president Quim Torra at a sports opening ceremony in Tarragona, last week. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty

Pedro Sánchez tries to reduce negative view of capital held by independence movements

The Spanish dictator Francisco Franco: his regime is believed to have encouraged the separation of children of leftist republicans from their mothers in order for them to be raised by families that were sympathetic to his far-right, Catholic ideology. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Doctor accused of involvement in illegal adoption racket during dictatorship

The  calle Estafeta during the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona: event brings about a million visitors to the city from across Spain and abroad. Photograph:  Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty

Spanish bullfighting industry and fans criticise comments ahead of bull-running festival

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez learned English in Dublin and once attended a Shamrock Rovers match, he told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at their meeting in Madrid on Thursday. Photograph: REUTERS/Susana Vera

Taoiseach fits in trip to view Picasso’s Guernica after meeting new Spanish PM

Search and rescue: some of the migrants picked up in the Mediterranean Sea. Photograph: SOS Mediterranée/AFP

Aquarius and passengers accepted by new PM Pedro Sánchez after Italian crackdown

 Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez (centre) with his cabinet after their first  meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid. The cabinet has the highest number of female ministers in the country’s history with 11 women and six  men. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Eleven out of 18 ministers in Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet are women

The civil guard presence at Bilbao ferry terminal has been increased to control stowaway attempts. Photograph: Guy Hedgecoe

Security tightened around terminal in bid to thwart increasingly ‘desperate’ stowaways

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