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Since the Spanish elections of December 21st, 2015, a total of 1,350 days have gone by, there have been two different occupants of the prime ministerial residence, the Moncloa, and two further elections have been held, on October 29th, 2016, and April 28th, 2019. Out of this period of 1,350 days, Spain has had a provisional government, first under Mariano Rajoy and now under Pedro Sánchez, for 438 days. That is, for every three days, two of them have had a real government and one a situation where it hasn't been able to act as such since its functions have been limited. And even during those two days out of three when there was a properly-appointed prime minister and a cabinet with full normal powers, there have also been long election campaigns, parliamentary instability and leadership changes in the PSOE and the PP.

More than fourteen months without a full government - and it could reach at least eighteen if there are new elections on November 10th - give one an idea of the Spanish inability to reach agreements. We're not talking about deals with Catalonia, obviously. But rather, among themselves: between the left of the PSOE, and the other left of Podemos; and among the parties of the right, which used to be two and now are three, in this born-again trifachito that goes a little further than in the past, as has been seen in Spain's autonomous regions, backed by José María Aznar's old refrain of "three in one". 

On Thursday, the Congress of Deputies came back to life after the summer, with a sensitive debate on the Spanish government's very poor performance in the Open Arms crisis, which was denounced by politicians who had done the same thing when they were in the executive. All of it was too poor, of course. And it must be commented that the Spanish political system puts up with everything: the absence of government, debts unpaid to the autonomous communities with Catalonia going to court about it, a freeze on all politics. Anything goes, except for talking and trying to reach agreement.

It's really no surprise that when Barcelona proposes dialogue to them, they don't even have a clue as to how they might start. Anything will do, except for recognizing that the crisis they believed had been definitely deactivated is blowing up once again, without anyone from the other side having said so much as "let's talk".

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