On Wednesday 2nd December we held an evening debate “A Look Ahead to the Spanish General Election”, which was organised in collaboration with Canning House, which were our kind hosts for this event.
For this special occasion, we had an exceptional panel to discuss and elaborate on the historical moment Spain is living as for the first time four different parties have chances to form a government.
The evening started with a warm welcome from Mr. Rob Capurro, CEO of Canning House, who thanked attendees on behalf of Canning House and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. He introduced the results of the latest polls that were published the days before and in the morning of the event with the aim of explaining the current Spanish political situation to the guests and where each party stood two weeks before the elections.
After presenting this information, Mr. Capurro moved on to introduce the chair of the debate Mr. Giles Paxman, British Ambassador to Spain from 2009 and 2013. Mr. Paxman, who was in post during the last elections in 2011, mentioned it was a very interesting to see how the Spanish political arena had evolved in a relatively short span of time.
After his opening remarks, Mr. Paxman introduced the speakers of the panel: Ms. Fiona Govan, former correspondent of The Telegraph in Madrid and the current editor of the Spanish edition of The Local, a digital newspaper with national editions across Europe; and Mr. Vincenzo Scarpetta, a political analyst specialized in Southern Europe at the think-tank Open Europe.
After the proceedings, Mr. Paxman started off the debate by asking Vincenzo Scarpetta to comment on the statistics previously presented and provide an overview on how in his opinion each party’s view on key topics could influence voters to move away from one or the other political forces.
Following Vincenzo’s contribution, Ms. Fiona Govan also shared her insights as a British journalist living in Madrid and how she perceived there was a very different feel in the street compared to the last elections in 2011.
The debate analyzed the role new political forces such as Ciudadanos, until now only a regional party, or Podemos, which did not exists two years ago, would play; how the Spanish electorate has changed and encouraged the rise of new parties with real possibilities to form a government, an extraordinary scenario which has not been seen during the recent history of Spain.
After the debate, the chair encouraged attendees to share their thoughts and comments on the speakers’ contributions. The Q&A session provided participants the opportunity to enquire further on how each panelist viewed the personalities of candidates from the various parties, how the question of Catalonia would be approached after the elections, and what measures parties were likely to take to fight against unemployment and boost the economy.
After the event, speakers and guests alike moved on to the reception area where they had the opportunity to mingle and enjoy a fantastic selection of Spanish gourmet cured meats and cheeses paired with sherry kindly provided by EATAPAS, member of the Spanish Chamber.
We would like to thank Canning House for their support organising this activity and for kindly hosting it. We are sincerely grateful to Mr. Giles Paxman, Ms. Fiona Govan, and Mr. Vincenzo Scarpetta for having accepted our invitation and sharing their insights with the attendees.
Finally, special thanks to our sponsor EATAPAS for their generous contribution at the reception.
Please click here to access the full image gallery for this event.
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