Spanish coalition govt talks falter; new election possible

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Reuters MADRID (Reuters) — Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, called an end on Monday to power-sharing talks with the only major political party offering to govern with him, magnifying the risk that Spaniards will be asked to vote again in the autumn.

A repeat election would be the fourth in as many years, a scenario unprecedented in Spain’s young democracy and one that has led some experts to declare the political system broken, unable to resolve big problems like budget reform and Catalonia.

Three months after his Socialists won the biggest share of votes in April’s general election, Sanchez said talks with left-wing party Podemos were over, accusing its leader Pablo Iglesias of acting in bad faith.

“Mr. Iglesias completely closed the door to any type of negotiation, in a unilateral rupture of the talks,” Sanchez told SER radio station, adding he thought the two parties’ policy differences were anyway too large to accommodate a coalition.

Sanchez does not want to enter into a full power-sharing coalition with Iglesias, offering to accept Podemos-nominated technocrats in his Cabinet rather than Podemos’ own lawmakers — a proposal Iglesias last week described as “idiotic.”

A top Podemos official denied on Monday that the talks were dead, however, and said he was confident Sanchez would come around and ultimately agree to a coalition.

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