Over its 25-year rule in Madrid, the right-wing Partido Popular has given rise to vast webs of corruption, widespread privatizations, and a disastrous mishandling of COVID-19. But its Thatcherite revolution has also forged a new voter base loyal to the ruling party — meaning predictions of imminent collapse are likely premature.
Brendan Boyle is an Irish writer who has lived in Madrid since 2016, covering Spanish football and current affairs.
Newly released emails from Madrid’s right-wing government show how authorities instructed care homes not to take elderly coronavirus patients to hospitals. The result was one of Europe’s highest death tolls — the outcome of a privatized care system that prefers saving money over saving the lives of the vulnerable.
Spain’s comprehensive schools are often considered a social leveler, offering free education and hot meals to kids from all backgrounds. But amid the coronavirus shutdown, the classroom has moved into the family home — and working-class parents have the least time and resources to devote to their children’s education.