Playing with fire.

In holding out, the Spanish leader is playing with fire. Stalling has been a tactic Rajoy has used with limited success. His People’s Party lost the regional election in Andalucia in March even after he delayed announcing unpopular measures until after the vote. Countries requesting aid later in a crisis may win easier conditions because their needs are in part caused by spillover effects, he said.

Should Rajoy make it through the end of the year, a deepening recession, the prospect of elections in Italy, or even a Greek exit from the euro could change the political dynamic, bolstering Spain’s negotiating position for ever.


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