King announces meetings with party leaders

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© European Parliament
King Felipe with Mariano Rajoy and Martin Schulz.

THE King of Spain has announced a fresh round of meetings with leaders of the main political parties on April 25 and 26, in order to discuss the possibilities of forming a coalition government before the constitutional deadline for new elections on May 2.

If this proves impossible, the aim will be to “proceed with the dissolution of both chambers and call a new general election at the moment laid out in the Constitution and with the backing of the Speaker of Congress,” according to an official statement by the Royal House.

If the talks conclude with a new candidate for Prime Minister, the Speaker will call a new parliamentary debate, but if they break down the King will dissolve parliament and call a new general election which is likely to take place on June 26.

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The increasing probability of a second election has reopened the debate regarding campaign costs, with the parties generally agreeing that campaigns should be more austere. The last election cost around €130 million without taking into account each party’s campaign.

PSOE congressional spokesman Antonio Hernando said: “Citizens must not pay for the irresponsibility of those who prevented a government from being formed.”

Cuidadanos leader Albert Rivera added: “I am absolutely willing for the PP and PSOE to spend half of what they currently spend.”

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