Real Madrid have received a boost when the Appeals Committee of the Spanish Football Federation reduced the three-game ban handed to central defender Nacho Fernandez to two matches.
Apaella is a classic Spanish dish made with rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken and seafood cooked and served in a single pan. In some respects, it shares characteristics with the Indian khichdi. The similarities will strike political observers in the context of the outcome of snap Spanish elections that have thrown up an intriguing level of possibilities, and yet no clear outcome. The elections were called by leftist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after he had faced sharp reversals in local body polls.
They were expected by many to bring to power a right-wing government headed by the People’s Party with the support of the farRight Vox party, and mark a decisive turn in Europe towards such politics. The two parties between them needed 176 seats in Spain’s parliament to stake claim, but have ended up tantalisingly short with 169. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party of Mr. Sanchez has claimed 122 seats and its far-left ally 31, for a combined tally of 153. This means the two main groupings will have to find the numbers each needs from smaller parties. And if neither succeeds in doing so, fresh elections will have to be called. Mr. Sanchez though has reason to feel satisfied that his gamble to call elections has not boomeranged.
As he told supporters, his party’s vote share had actually improved, but more importantly, the “retrograde, reactionary block that sought to undo the advances of the past four years had failed.” While Mr. Sanchez will not be offered the first crack at forming a government ~ that privilege would be extended to the People’s Party ~ he may believe he has a more credible chance because of several reasons, the most important of which is that smaller parties would be reluctant to midwife the ascension of a far-right party to power for the first time since the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. The Basque Nationalist Party had said before the election it had no agreement with PP and Vox and the Teruel Existe had said it would never support such a coalition. But while Mr Sanchez may fancy his chances, he will have to be prepared to pay a price for the support of smaller parties.
The Catalan separatist party Junts has already announced that it will seek a fresh vote on Catalan independence as its price for support to him. Other demands will be raised as a precondition for support, and it is likely that Spain will see a considerable amount of negotiations before its next government begins to take shape. One observer has already dubbed the election outcome a “catastrophic tie”. Spaniards in particular and Europeans in general must hope that the catastrophe causes as little damage