The next general elections in Spain will take place on the 26th of June. Both the Conservative wishy-washy, undecisive Partido Popular [PP] and the more divided Partido Socialista [Socialists] have not known how to seal an agreement which would have avoided another election. But it is clear that one new party, Ciudadanos (Citizens ) of the Liberal International, has been able to try and bridge the centre-left and centre-right. Socialists have repeated time and again they would not make a deal with the PP as they promised during the campaign in December. The PP said it was open to a dialogue but it chose not to try and put forward its candidate to the King of Spain, who is constitutionally responsible for choosing the candidate with more support among the parliamentary forces. So Ciudadanos chose the Socialists to seal a deal with a 200- point document in order to form a government. Regrettably neither the PP nor the far-left Podemos suported the new document. So the new document ,with important points such as tackling Spain’s endemic corruption, suppressing the Senate and Diputaciones ( equivalent to UK or Irish counties) or opposing referenda for Catalonians to separate from Spain, was sent into oblivion.

But Spain’s youthful leader, Albert Rivera, has given Liberals the hope of refreshing and starting to reform Spain’s much needed political culture as well as its administrative and economic infrastructure. Ciudadanos is the Spanish Liberal antidote to both the past 4 years of the overall majority of the PP, which saw just austerity measures and a slight betterment of the economy with no social or political reforms, and to the Socialist indefinition in many aspects of cultural and political challenges such as nationalism or corruption. The new party has been steadfast in being trully Liberal: it has fought both nationalism, radicalism of Podemos and anti-semitism. In Spain, Liberals are on the march again as happened in Canada or Japan. The good thing about Liberals in Spain as in other countries is that Liberalism, which was born in Spain in 1812, fought and still fights for the common good of everyone beyond class cliches, religion or race. Let’s hope their efforts are rewarded.

Albert Rivera ciudadanos

Albert Rivera leader of Ciudadanos, the new Liberal party in Spain.