After a meeting Tuesday with Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and other political leaders, Spain's King Philip VI realised no negotiated solution was available to form a government and chose to call for general elections to be held November 10, it was announced. Spain is the fourth-largest economy in the euro currency zone.
After seven hours, during which the King met with Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera and Pablo Iglesias, the monarch declined to propose a candidate as the Socialist Sánchez failed to broker an accord with the other political forces and therefore lacked the necessary support to stay in office, four and a half months since the April 28 polls.
There is no majority that guarantees the formation of a government, which pushes us into a repeat election on November 10, Sánchez told the media.
Sanchez's Socialist PSOE emerged as the biggest party in April's election but in July, parliament twice rejected his confirmation bid, and this week was his last opportunity.
Opinion polls show a new election might not end the impasse, with the Socialists still unable to win enough seats in the 350-seat parliament to secure a majority on their own.
Party leaders had spent more time publicly blaming each other for the impasse than negotiating, and a flurry of last-minute calls and initiatives failed to achieve a breakthrough.
Although Spain's economy has not suffered greatly, financial analysts concur further delays in implementing reforms in areas such as labour and pensions can have an impact in the linger run.
Spain's political parties Tuesday agreed to lay all the blame on Sánchez, who, in turn, believed everyone but him was responsible for the failure of a generation of politicians in general and above all of those of leftwing Podemos, who have blocked for the fourth time the investiture of a socialist.
Sánchez said it has been impossible to fulfill the mandate of April 28. I have tried it by all means but they have made it impossible for us. He then asked all Spaniards in November to speak even clearer than in April and give him a wider majority. We will ask you to say it even more clearly so that the electoral result is respected and that all parties abide by it, he said.
Congress Speaker Meritxell Batet Tuesday conveyed the king's decision as head of state. She said Wednesday at the farewell of the legislature's predictably last plenary session that democracy is wiser, more constant and stronger than people.