The Hindu Editorial With vocabulary (The bane in Spain) 19 February 2019
The bane in Spain: on the call for snap elections
The snap poll called for April 28 by Spain’s minority Socialist Party government could deepen the fissures in the fragmented polity. The new anti-immigrant Vox party, which made inroads in December in Andalusia, Spain’s most populous region, is the latest addition to the smaller formations that can hold the balance in a future coalition. The stability of the short-lived government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose fall has triggered the third general election since late 2015, had been under threat from the start. It was propped up last June by Catalan separatist parties, which were bound to turn into a liability for Mr. Sánchez. For the governing Socialist Party has, no less than the conservative People’s Party, consistently regarded the Catalonian demand for separation as a violation of the integrity of the Spanish union. The previous center-right government took a hard line on the separatist cause: it dissolved the regional parliament and imposed rule from Madrid following the October 2017 referendum and the unilateral declaration of independence. But Mr. Sanchez’s efforts to renew a political dialogue have proved futile in the face of the volatility. Last year’s commemorations marking Catalonia’s national day and the first anniversary of the controversial 2017 plebiscite saw large turnouts at separatist protests. Meanwhile, a recent government proposal to appoint a rapporteur to negotiate with the secessionists has been condemned as a betrayal by the conservatives. The anti-government protests drew large crowds championing a united Spain and demands to vote out the Socialists.
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A trial that started last week against the masterminds of the 2017 referendum is the latest flashpoint. Many of the defendants appearing before the Supreme Court were part of the regional Catalan government and face long prison terms if convicted. The trial has sealed any hope of the Socialist government conceding its coalition Catalan allies’ demand for a referendum on statehood. Within days, the separatists hit back, voting down the national budget, alongside the Opposition conservatives whom Mr. Sánchez unseated in June. Whereas prolonged instability has marred Spanish politics in recent years, the country had so far seemed immune to the populist surge spreading across the rest of the European Union. The entry of the extreme right Vox party to the Andalusian legislature has unsettled that status quo. The Socialists are expected to emerge as the single largest party in April, but well short of a clear majority. The two centre-right parties are also unlikely to muster enough numbers to form a government on their own. Opinion polls indicate that Vox could have a significant presence in the next parliament and be in a position to play kingmaker. This is not an attractive prospect for either the majority of moderates or the Catalan separatists. Spain needs stability at any cost today.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) FISSURE (Noun) = Gap, ( दरार )
Synonyms = Cleavage, Crevice.
Antonyms = Closure, Solid.
2) Fragmented (Verb) = Break into Pieces, ( खंडित )
Synonyms = Disintegrate, Splinter.
Antonyms = Combine, Fix.
3) INTEGRITY (Noun) = Honor , (अखंडता )
Synonyms = Honesty, Principle.
Antonyms = Deceit, Dishonesty.
4) CONSERVATIVE (Adj) = Cautions , ( रूढ़िवादी )
Synonyms = Middle of the Road. Timid.
Antonyms = Changeable, Inconstant.
5) VOLATILITY (Noun) = Evaporation, ( अस्थिरता )
Synonyms = Dryness, Vaporization.
Antonyms = Permanence, Steadiness.
6) RAPPORTEUR (Noun) = Draftsman, ( प्रतिवेदक )
Synonyms = Protractor, Relator.
Antonyms = copier.
7) REFERENDUM (Noun) = Popular Vote on Matter, ( किसी प्रश्न को जनता के सामने उसकी सम्मति लेने के लिये रखना )
Synonyms = Election , Poll.
Antonyms = Table.
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