SPAIN is likely to install a socialist-led government this week following a coalition deal between the Socialist Workers’ (PSOE) party and anti-austerity Podemos.

PSOE won 123 seats in the April general election – shy of the 176 needed to form a majority government.

Months of troubled talks came to a head last week when Sanchez said he was ready to form a coalition with Podemos so as long as their leader, Pablo Iglesias, was not given a ministerial position.

Sanchez said Iglesias was ‘the principal obstacle’ to a deal due to political differences.

The two clashed over the latter’s support for a referendum on Calatonian independence – an ‘unconstitutional’ move, according to Sanchez.

Sanchez guaranteed other Podemos members would be given cabinet positions, such as Irene Montero, the party’s number two, who is also Iglesias’s partner.

“We are convinced we are going to reach an agreement in response to the millions of people who voted on 28 April for a progressive government,” Adriana Lastra, the Socialist party spokeswoman, said.

“Over the next few days we will work with discretion and loyalty with the aim that next week the country will have a functioning government,” she added.

“We are going to talk about the program and the reforms the country needs.”

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