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Socialists Lose In Historic Landslide In Spain

From desolated New York Times:

Spanish Voters Deal a Blow to Socialists Over the Economy

November 20, 2011

MADRID — Spaniards struggling with high unemployment and a credit squeeze delivered a punishing verdict on almost eight years of Socialist government at the ballot box on Sunday, turning to the conservative Popular Party in the hopes of alleviating the pain of Europe’s debt crisis.

Of course, being a conservative in Spain is not quite like being a conservative here in the US. But still, it is a bell weather.

With 99.8 percent of the vote counted Sunday night, the Popular Party, led by Mariano Rajoy, had won 186 seats and a governing majority in the 350-seat lower house of Parliament, while the governing Socialists plummeted to 110 seats from 169. It was the Popular Party’s best showing, and the Socialists’ worst, since Spain’s return to democracy in the 1970s.

Which is to say it was the biggest since Spain has had free elections. But try finding any stories about it in our mainstream media. Even this Time article was buried in their ‘Europe’ section.

Spain is the third southern European country in two weeks to see its government felled by the debt crisis in the euro zone. In Italy and Greece, prime ministers were forced by mounting financial and economic woes to resign and give way to interim “unity” governments of technical experts, who are meant to take urgent but unpopular austerity measures to cope with the crisis and then call new elections

Who knows? It could happen here.

In the end, the Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was undone by the evaporation of Spain’s economic boom after the world financial crisis took hold. When the government took office in 2004, the Spanish economy was growing by 3 percent a year, the budget was balanced and unemployment was low by Spanish standards. But when the financial crisis hit, property values and the construction industry collapsed, banks needed rescuing, economic growth slowed, joblessness soared (it is now over 21 percent), and government finances fell deeply into deficit.

And all of this had nothing to do with electing a socialist government. It was all the fault of the world economy.

By the way, Spain’s unemployment is currently at 21.5%. Which represents another triumph of socialism.

When Mr. Rajoy, 56, takes over as prime minister next month, he will bring little novelty to the Spanish political scene: he held senior posts in his party’s last government, from 2001 to 2004, and was defeated by Mr. Zapatero in the general elections of 2004 and 2008…

The threat of another recession and the magnitude of the euro debt crisis have made even supporters of the Popular Party question whether a center-right government can deliver the swift turnaround in Spain that the financial markets are demanding

Naturally nobody believes they will succeed. That’s why they voted for them.

Mr. Zapatero’s government introduced a series of austerity measures over the last 18 months, cutting spending and laying off state workers, but economists say the new government will have to cut billions of euros more from state spending to meet the country’s deficit reduction targets. In the campaign, both parties’ leaders avoided spelling out in any detail what they would do to pull Spain from its economic quagmire

This is completely untrue. The socialists campaigned on a platform of ‘taxing the rich.’ Meanwhile, the conservatives campaigned on a program to slash taxes, especially on businesses.

Consequently, the conservatives won in an historic landslide. The biggest since Spain has had elections. But The Times doesn’t want its readers to hear such inconvenient facts.

Aside from his government’s struggles with the economy, Mr. Zapatero brought marked social change to Spain, promoting women’s rights, pushing through contested changes in the abortion law and legalizing same-sex marriage

Mr. Zapatero was also the first Western leader to surrender in the war on terror. Which, along with his embrace of homosexual marriage, made him a darling of the New York Times.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Socialists Lose In Historic Landslide In Spain”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    “Mr. Zapatero was also the first Western leader to surrender in the war on terror.”

    I actually think that the withdrawal from Iraq after the transit bombings in Spain was a bigger factor for the socialist rise in 2004. Most people, correction, most working people know socialism is and always will be a failure. The socialist know it too. That is why they use hot button issues like the war and gay marriage to foment populist anger so they are swept into power before people realize the mistake they are making, c.f. Barak Obama.

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