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Spanish Politics From A Spaniard

Mar
17
2004

There are a number of reasons the Spanish Socialist Party won control of the government. I couldn’t make any sense of what I was reading so I asked a Spanish friend living here in the U.S. Here’s his note with a few edits for clarity:
Spain was tired of despotic [Popular Party] and their arrogant ministers; [José Luis Rodríguez] Zapatero was going up in the polls while [Mariano] Rajoy (the PP candidate) was going down. Of course the bombing contributed to give a wake up call to some people that usually don’t vote.


The key thing was that the PP didn’t know how to react to the bombing and they kept the ETA tale way too long, even though it was already clear that the Islamic connection was there. They were treating people, as always, as if they were idiots. Enough is enough. PP lost to its arrogance.
There were many factors: 90% of Spaniards opposed the war (that means also they are PP voters); the Prestige catastrophe made people very angry (that was a boat with lots of oil that stupidly went down in front of the northern coast of Spain, guess who was in charge of dealing with that: Rajoy!); public schools are really suffering the lack of funding in favor of privatization, which makes the Opus Dei very happy, ’cause most of private schools are church-related …[Out-going prime minster] Aznar’s external politics isolated Spain from the rest of Europe, except for UK, something that is not acceptable in the intellectual world, specially if that means you are partners with such a luminary as your president. And I can go on and on with the really dreadful list of achievements of the PP.
The only good thing: the economy, which is in much better shape than it was 8 years ago. However, most of the rights of workers have been removed à la Americana, and now firing is easy and companies make “contratos basura” (trash contracts) which just cover the minimum wage and are very volatile.
So there, when you hear that Spaniards are cowards tell them that, on the contrary, they were bold enough to stand out against a bunch of liars and remove their power that they thought they had for granted. Let’s see if Americans will be able to do the same (I really doubt it).

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:46 AM | Permalink

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