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Sánchez is irritated, as his PSOE spokespeople repeat constantly after each movement by Pablo Iglesias to try, with whatever it takes, to achieve a coalition government in which his party, Podemos, would have some significant roles. It must be a habitual state for Spanish prime ministers when things are not working out as they would like and the parties that are expected to complete the parliamentary majority fail to dance to the tune played by those in power. The Catalan independence movement knows very well what happens when Pedro Sánchez is irritated: it happened a few months ago, when the Catalan made their support for the 2019 budget conditional on a breakthrough in negotiations with the Spanish government, and at that point the figure of the rapporteur emerged. The PSOE abandoned the talks in a flash and its so-often-repeated sense of state was transformed into an advantageous election in which it improved its results​ at the expense of Podemos and the Partido Popular.

Now the party is repeating the blackmail with Podemos, and if the deal isn't accepted, it is threatening a new Spanish general election, which would close a completely unprecedented cycle of four Spanish elections in 48 months. When sometimes there is talk of the poor relationship between the pro-independence parties, which is true and very unfortunate, it would be worthwhile devoting a few minutes of attention to Spanish politics. Four leading forces - plus Vox trying to break through on the far right - with a degree of enmity and aggressiveness among them that often prevents them reaching any agreement. Sometimes, it even stops them sharing power.

Now, Sánchez and Iglesias are taking advantage of every opportunity to take pot shots at each other and at times they don't seem to be just firing blanks. They met last Thursday for an hour, in an atmosphere that was so cold that just a few hours later both of them made political moves that they hadn't discussed even out of courtesy. The Podemos leader announced a vote among the membership to find out what the party's position should be on the new government investiture if the PSOE doesn't accept a coalition deal. A consultation in slow motion that will be open until Thursday 18th, and then on the 23rd they will vote in Congress on the investiture of Sánchez. Meanwhile, the acting PM gave hints of a certain openness to Podemos but with ministers to be selected by himself, which reminds us a lot of what former Catalan president Pujol did with Unió for a while and which afterwards was no longer possible for Maragall, Montilla, Mas, Puigdemont or Torra.

Spanish politics is a bit behind the times in its approach to coalitions. Sixteen years with regard to Catalonia and decades behind the vast majority of European countries. In this regard, too, Spain is different.