"We propose to tell the new government that Spain will appear on the Watch List if it does not do three things by October 2008. First, issue a [Government of Spain] announcement stating that Internet piracy is illegal, and that the copyright levy system does not compensate creators for copyrighted material acquired through peer-to-peer file sharing. Second, amend the 2006 “circular” that is widely interpreted in Spain as saying that peer-to-peer file sharing is legal. Third, announce that the GoS will adopt measures along the lines of the French and/or UK proposals aimed at curbing Internet piracy by the summer of 2009."
But the outgoing government could not pass the legislation, and "failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain", said the U.S. ambassador in a letter obtained by newspaper El Pais.
During the final days of the Spanish administration, the U.S. ambassador attempted once more, imploring the government to introduce the Sinde Law immediately.
In a letter to the Spanish culture minister, sent also to the Spanish prime minister, the U.S. ambassador explained that the country was already on the Special 301 list, and threatened to degrade the country even further.
The government left office, and the Partido Popular ("People's Party") administration took office late last month. The U.S. was quick to pressure the new government, and subsequently the Sinde Law came into force two days ago on January 3rd.
Behind-the-scenes lobbying is not uncommon, particularly when private industry is heavily affected the laws in question. But it does appear to explain why the flip-flop between one government failing to enact tough SOPA-like anti-piracy laws, and a new government quickly ratifying it.