When the European policy framework as a whole is taken into account, the decision of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) to refrain from the confidence debate in Parliament is not so surprising. It concluded with the induction of a government led once again by the Partido Popular leader Mariano Rajoy. Although formally no socialist ministers will be appointed, it will be difficult for the PSOE to break free from the conservative policies that most probably will characterize the next government. It is a large de facto coalition.
Spanish social democracy is therefore preparing to walk the same narrow path that led to the practical dissolution of Greek socialism (in Spain a neologism was coined about it: pasokizacion), to the subordination of the SPD, to the austerity policies of the Merkel/Schauble duo and the “non victory.” In Italy, the common good Italy alliance paid dearly for the support given by its main shareholder to the great coalition of Mario Monti.
The rest of the European socialist forces have not given the best account of themselves, in terms of political and programmatic autonomy from neo-liberalism, when they are selected to govern in the wake of an alternative vote against conservative parties. Among these, Blair Labour Party, the Hollande presidency in France, and also the Ulivo governments in Italy or Zapatero’s experience in Spain.