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AP: ‘Job-Hungry’ Spain Going Conservative

From a deeply disturbed Associated Press:

Job-hungry Spaniards seen electing center-right

November 16, 2011

MADRID (AP) — Another troubled European government will almost surely tumble this weekend as Spanish voters braving sky-high unemployment, the sting of austerity, piles of debt and a bleak future are expected to dump the ruling Socialists and hand their national mess to opposition conservatives.

Polls point to a crushing win on Sunday for the Popular Party led by Mariano Rajoy — a gangly, uncharismatic man who lost the last two general elections, only barely survived internecine fighting to hold on as party chief and generally has a low popularity rating.

The AP sure makes him wonderful, don’t they.

He would inherit a crisis of massive dimensions as bailout fears leapfrog around the eurozone’s fringe, Spain included.

A win for Rajoy, 56, would bring the conservatives back to power after nearly eight years of rule by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who on social policy put a patently liberal stamp on traditionally Catholic Spain by legalizing gay marriage and ushering in other northern European-style reforms

They left out Zapatero’s disastrous efforts in the solar field. But his "liberal stamp" has practically destroyed Spain’s economy.

Now, unemployment stands at 21.5 percent — a 15-year-high — and economic growth halted in the third quarter after several quarters of tepid expansion in Spain’s slow recovery from recession

But there is no cause and effect at work here. The AP can’t bring themselves to blame any of this on Zapatero or socialism in general. All of this just happened.

Victory is sweet by any measure but Rajoy’s position would hardly be one to envy if he does win, which even Perez Rubalcaba has seemed to take for granted.

Rajoy faces the dilemma of trying to lower Spain’s budget deficit — and thus boost investor confidence to reduce Spain’s borrowing costs — without cutting spending or raising taxes so much that it puts a brake on the already listless economy and drags it into another recession

Why does the AP see raising taxes as bad for Spain but good for the United States?

[The socialists’ candidate for Prime Minister] Perez Rubalcaba’s campaign seems clearly aimed at averting an outright stampede by Socialist supporters disillusioned with Zapatero’s EU-mandated austerity program, and advocates a new tax on the super-wealthy and on banks, among other measures to free up money that would be used to encourage firms to hire

Gosh, that sounds just like what the socialists in our country want. How could that possibly be a losing campaign issue?

In the last Parliament the Socialists had 169 seats in the 350-seat lower chamber and the PP 154. A Metroscopia poll released last weekend by the newspaper El Pais said the PP might jump to as many as 196 seats — a record for that party in Spain’s post-Franco democracy — while the Socialists could plummet to as low as 110. In percentage points, the cushion is about 14. The margin of error in the telephone poll of some 9,700 eligible voters is 1.5 points.

Rajoy’s platform includes plans for business tax cuts to encourage hiring and lower the country’s staggering unemployment rate

And the AP cannot for the life of them understand why this should be popular.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP: ‘Job-Hungry’ Spain Going Conservative”

  1. DW says:

    Funny how they fail to mention that Spain was on track to elect a conservative government nearly eight years ago -right up until Al Qaeda blew up a train in that country and sent the voters scuttling to elect a government that refused to fight terrorism…

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