Government vice president Yolanda Díaz on Wednesday. / EFE

Coalition partners look to smooth a deal over defence spending to present a united front

An apparent crisis between members of the government seemed to wither away over the course of the week

PAULA DE LAS HERAS / SUR MADRID.

A potential crisis between the two partners in Spain's coalition government appeared to be ebbing away by the end of this week, as both sides reflected on what they had to lose by dynamiting their relationship.

Following recent disagreements between the PSOE Socialist and Unidas Podemos (UP), principally about the former's planned increase in defence spending in Spain, Yolanda Díaz, vice president of the government and UP leader, had ominously summoned a meeting of the cross-party committee that oversees the terms of the left-wing coalition.

But the call seems to have been more for effect than real. By Wednesday this week, Díaz was saying she was hopeful that the apparent rift could be healed more easily. Next week is a planned debate on the State of the Nation in parliament and both sides want to show unity.

Unidas Podemos has rejected outright its PSOE partners aim to spend 2 per cent of national income on defence by 2029, to meet Nato obligations, and some compromise will be needed if the government is not to potentially fall.

Yolanda Díaz has said there is "no alternative" to finding an "imaginative" compromise.

Díaz's new movement

Meanwhile, signs of fracture on the left continued as Díaz planned to launch in Madrid today (8 July) a new radical political platform called Sumar (meaning Unite). Other leaders of Unidas Podemos (UP) are not attending. UP is an amalgam of left-wing parties and Díaz is of the Izquierda Unida side. The separate Podemos side will not be there.