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MADRID - FEB 19: Anonymous Cosplay protest against the labor reform law of the Partido Popular in Madrid, Spain on February 19, 2012.

Spain’s Political Instability: 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Spain’s political deadlock

The last general election in Spain in April produced a political deadlock, as no party has a clear majority, with the socialist party edging a victory. Since then, Party leader Pedro Sanchez has been Prime Minister. Published on Tuesday, the Centre for Sociological Studies’ (CIS) July survey of voter intentions put the Socialists at 41.3%, up from 39.5% the previous month and a large jump from the 28.7% it garnered in April. Sanchez now has until mid-September to break the political deadlock or face a fresh election on Nov. 10. Furthermore, Political instability in Spain is hurting its global image, as according to a study by El Pais: “The country has fallen from 25th to 27th place on the Good Governance Index, compiled by the MESIAS project with support from España Global (or Global Spain), a state agency working to monitor and improve the country’s image abroad.” Spain’s political situation is far from ideal, and many are hoping the elections later this year will finally break the deadlock.

2. Relations with the EU at a weak-point

In addition to domestic political problems, Spain’s relations with the EU are also at a low point, with the EU sending Spain to court for their failure to protect citizens from air pollution, as well as failing to enact data protection rules for police. Spain has failed to keep the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air below the EU limits which have been legally binding since 2010. Greece and Spain are the only two nations who haven’t notified the Commission on whether this directive has been transposed through national laws. Along with their domestic instability, Spain have many issues to deal with, and the EU does not seem to be willing to wait until the political situation is resolved in September or possibly later, hence the incoming court hearing.

3. Spain’s second-biggest bank charged with corruption

To add to Spain’s internal and external political issues, Spain’s second-biggest bank BBVA has been charged with corruption for alleged corporate spying involving a disgraced former police chief. Spain’s National Court, which handles major financial cases, charged the bank with “corruption and breach of confidence”, a spokeswoman for the court said. The announcement comes five days after prosecutors asked that the bank be charged. This taints another bad picture of Spain’s management and regulation of its large institutions.

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