William Chislett

William Chislett

Associate Analyst of the Elcano Royal Institute, journalist and writer. Author of the Elcano's monthly news review Inside Spain and of four books on Spain published by the Institute. William Chislett website | @WilliamChislet3

No electoral system is perfect, but some seem fairer

Spaniards rightly complain they have had four general elections in the last four years, a record for an EU country, because politicians have been unable to form a sustainable government, while the British are equally fed up with their politicians, albeit for very different reasons (Brexit). In both cases, [...]

Spain: another democratic deadlock or a coalition government?

Spain’s fourth general election in as many years, a record for an EU country, failed to unblock the political impasse and produced a surge in support for the far-right nationalist VOX which more than doubled its previous number of seats. But as after April’s election, neither the three main [...]

Ashamed to be British

‘This happy breed of men, this little world … this England’, famously proclaims John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s play Richard II. More than 400 years later, the United Kingdom is far from being a ‘happy breed of men’ (or women), thanks to the Brexit fiasco. I left the UK [...]

Spaniards are happier

Spain is a happier nation than it was a year ago, according to the World Happiness Report (WHR), produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations, and based on Gallup surveys between 2016 and 2018. Finland was again the happiest country for [...]

Exports of goods set new record, but growth slow

Spain’s merchandise exports, which have played a significant role in the economy’s recovery, set a new record in 2018 for the 10th straight year of €285 billion, but the growth of 2.9% was considerably less than the 7.7% in 2017 (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Merchandise exports’ value, as [...]

Forty years of democratic Spain

Forty years ago this month, Spaniards overwhelmingly approved their new Constitution in a referendum which sealed the country’s transition to democracy. General Francisco Franco had died in 1975, after ruling Spain since 1939 following his victory in the three-year civil war. Be it economically with, for example, the creation [...]

Should Franco’s tomb be removed from his basilica?

More than 40 years after the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain’s dictator between 1939 and 1975 and the victor of the country’s 1936-39 Civil War, the new Socialist government is confronting a totemic issue –the removal of Franco’s tomb from the Valley of Fallen basilica hewn into rock [...]

Catalonia is not Scotland, despite appearances

Catalonia and Scotland share grievances that led them to hold referendums on independence, in the first case an illegal vote in 2017, in defiance of the Spanish Constitution, and the second a legal one in 2014 agreed with the UK government as Britain does not have a codified constitution. [...]

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