SPAIN’S post office is reportedly finalising a deal to hire around 10,000 extra members of staff so that the system can cope with the expected spike in postal votes at the July 23 snap elections.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the surprise polls on May 29, a day after local and regional elections at which his Socialist Party and other leftist groups fared particularly badly. The polls were expected to be held in December.
The surprise decision not only caught the opposition Popular Party (PP) by surprise, but also the state Correos postal system, which will have to deal with postal votes at a time when its staffing levels would have been low given that many Spaniards take their summer vacation in July.
In fact, this will be the first time that a general election has been held in Spain in the summer months since the country returned to democracy in the late 1970s. July 23 also falls on a weekend when there are bank holidays in four of Spain’s 17 regions.
Spanish daily El Pais reported on Wednesday that Correos is negotiating the extra staff with its unions, and that the resulting deal will be announced on June 9 – the date that the workers must submit their summer holiday plans.
Correos is also planning to extend opening hours on non-working days and boost its staffing in areas with large numbers of tourists.
- Explainer: What will Spain’s first summer general election mean for voters?
- Analysis: Why has Spain’s prime minister called snap elections?
- Spain’s opposition leader welcomes early elections but accuses PM of distracting attention from PP’s gains