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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(...)

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez during a debate on the government’s budget in parliament in Madrid on Wednesday. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Opposition parties in Spain are calling for a snap general election after Catalan secessionists joined right-wing parties in rejecting the socialist g(...)

A boy walks past graffiti supporting Eta in Mondragón, Basque Country, Spain,  photographed in September  2010. File photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

If you know a better view at dinner time in the French Basque Country than the panorama from the terrace of the Hotel Barberaenea, in the tiny village(...)

Astronaut Pedro Duque: said  he wished his mother was still alive to see his appointment. Photograph:  Luis Tejido/EPA

Spain’s new prime minister has appointed an astronaut as his science minister in a cabinet dominated by women. Pedro Sánchez announced on Wednesday t(...)

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(...)

Protesters hold Spanish flags during a demonstration called by “Societat Civil Catalana” (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain on Sunday in Barcelona. Photograph: Jorge Guerrro/AFP/Getty Images

Josep Borrell, a veteran leader of the Catalan section of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), last weekend showed the kind of democratic lead(...)

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has responded to every Catalan move towards this referendum with block-headed predictability, perfectly fitting the script set out for him by the ‘Govern’ in Barcelona. Photograph: JJ Guillen/EPA

Whatever happens next in Catalonia, the Catalan nationalists’ independence referendum campaign had already proved a significant success, from their ow(...)

  National Day of Catalonia in   Barcelona,  September 11th, 2014: Catalan nationalists say they will declare independence if they win a majority in the referendum, regardless of the level of participation. Photograph:  Albert Gea/Reuters

Barcelona was the first city in Spain I ever visited, back in 1973. The great Catalan capital was then resisting the dying clutches of the Franco dic(...)

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy speaks about the recent unofficial Catalonian independence poll  in Madrid yesterday. Photograph:  Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Wise conservatives often quote The Leopard, the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, in which a leading aristocratic character comments that it is s(...)

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