Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calls election after parliament voted down his government’s budget. Photograh:  Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez has called an early general election for April 28th, setting the stage for a divisive vote that could tilt the c(...)

Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, applauds to Maria Jesus Montero Cuadrado, Spain’s treasury minister, in parliament in Madrid on Tuesday. Sanchez’s budget plans are threatening to unravel amid reports that he’s considering calling a snap election for April. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Like many crises in today’s Europe, Spain’s acute political woes derive from the failure of traditional conservative and centre-left parties to protec(...)

Protestors wave Catalan separatist flags following a demonstration on the first anniversary of Catalonia’s banned independence referendum in Barcelona, on Monday. Photograph: Enrique Calvo/Reuters

A year ago this week, Catalan nationalist parties held an independence referendum that the Spanish courts had declared illegal. The right-wing Partido(...)

Maria Purificacion Lapena, granddaughter of civil war victim Manuel Lapena, poses outside the entrance to the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caidos), the giant mausoleum holding the remains of dictator Francisco Franco and over 30,000 civil war dead from both sides. Photograph: Juan Medina

General Franco, the dictator who governed Spain from his victory in the 1936-39 civil war until his death in 1975, left an oppressive legacy which per(...)

Last Friday, minority prime minister Mariano Rajoy had been ignominiously ousted in a no-confidence vote proposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez (above), despite the latter’s having only 84 seats in a 350 seat parliament. Photograph: Angel  Navarrete/Bloomberg

After a week that suddenly turned the shape of Spanish politics inside out, changes continue at a speed that suggests that we are witnessing the end o(...)

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy during a news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on Friday. Photograph: Reuters

The inertia and procrastination that characterises the political style of Spain’s long-serving prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has often evoked referen(...)

A man raises a Puigdemont mask during a protest in front of Germany’s Consulate in Barcelona after former president Carles Puigdemont was detained in Germany. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

The arrest of the former Catalan first minister, Carles Puigdemont, in Germany is yet another twist in the protracted and toxic stalemate between the (...)

 Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is not a demagogue. He has to do nothing more in this campaign than what he has already been doing – quietly, rationally and peacefully making the case for secession. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Late on Friday October 27th, Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalan government, having declared Catalan independence, made his way from the Palau(...)

Unionist protestors take part in a demonstration against independence  called by the  far-right  ‘Platform for Catalonia’ party  in front of Barcelona city hall  last month. Photograph: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

Lola Mayenco was one of 2.26 million Catalans who cast their vote in Sunday’s controversial independence referendum. Her ballot paper, however, looked(...)

A man holds a Catalan pro-independence ‘Estelada’ flag during a demonstration in support of the referendum in Catalonia on Sunday. Photograph: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

Somebody should surely have told the Madrid government last week that using the Guardia Civil to stop Catalans casting ballots was a crass idea – and (...)

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