Is Spanish acting Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez playing with fire? Many thought that pacting with the far left Podemos party was a bridge too far but now Sanchez wants to bring the Catalan nationalists of the Republican Left (ERC) into his coalition. It is not exactly a match made in heaven; you have Sanchez and his moderate Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) who now want to form a government with Podemos which was born out of the anti-austerity movement and is considered to be on the hard-left of Spanish politics.
Initially, Sanchez opposed any pact with Podemos and this is one of the reasons he called the general election which took place last month. He bowed to pressure and agreed to form a coalition with them after he failed to secure a majority last month. But the combined strengths of the socialist party and Podemos is still not enough so he has been forced to find another coalition partner. He is courting the rather radical Republican Left which supports a breakaway from Spain.
Both Podemos and ERC are like a red rag to a bull to the parties on the right of Spanish politics. Catalan political parties, especially those who support a breakaway from Spain, are deeply unpopular with the rest of the country.
To be honest the acting Spanish Prime Minister is caught between a rock and a hard place. He needs to form a government because Spaniards wouldn´t accept another election but few are willing to go into coalition with him and his party.