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The opposition celebrates Zapatero’s announcement for an early general election

The conservative leader, Mariano Rajoy, says the new government will have a “very difficult task because Spain has many problems”. Catalan nationalist Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida argues that Zapatero’s decision will bring “stability” to the economy.


29 July 2011 08:21 PM



Barcelona (ACN).- The conservative leader and People\u2019s Party (PP) candidate for the next Spanish general election, Mariano Rajoy, has celebrated the decision by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to set November 20th as the next Election Day. Rajoy, who has been campaigning for an early election for months, said the government resulting from the polls will have \u201Cthe trust of the people, and that\u2019s rather better than the situation today\u201D. According to Rajoy, the new government will have a \u201Cvery difficult task because Spain has many problems\u201D. The PP is widely expected to win the Spanish general election, although the Socialists, lead by Former Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, have narrowed the gap in the last polls.

Rajoy said he is the person that Spain needs \u201Cto lead to political change\u201D. The PP leader said that Spaniards want an early election to \u201Chave their say and decide\u201D the future of the state. If he wins the election, Rajoy expects to \u201Cregain harmony\u201D within Spain. \u201CMy aim is to govern from the political centre, with moderation and dialogue, saying the truth and acting with responsibility and transparency\u201D, he said.

The conservative leader said that, if he is prime minister, he will analyze the economical situation in the autonomous communities, and promised to give the regions more time to return some of the money that they owe to Madrid.Rajoy criticized Prime Minister Zapatero for saying that Spain is \u201Con track\u201D to an economical recovery. According to the PP leader, this statement is false because Spanish bonds are historical high and youth unemployment is at 40%.

The reaction from the Catalan parties

Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, the leader of the centre-right Catalan national party Convergència i Unió (CiU) in Madrid, argued that Zapatero\u2019s decision to call an early election will bring \u201Cstability\u201D to the economy. According to him, November is \u201Cthe best month\u201D to hold the election.

The president of the Greens (ICV-EUiA), Joan Herrera, offered his assessment of the Zapatero government, claiming that they had "turned right", forgetting their left-wing ideals. He warned that the Socialist candidate Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba has often been "even more conservative" that the Spanish prime minister. From now until the election, Herrera announced, the Spanish government will be under scrutiny because "you cannot allow an interim government to make even more cuts"

The Ecosocialist expressed surprise at the fact that the elections will be held on November 20th, the same day as the fascist dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975.

The Catalan Socialist Miquel Iceta praised the decision that was made public this Friday, saying that it has been made with "honour". In addition, the Catalan Socialist spokesperson added that "there was not much point in celebrating elections in March" because it is necessary to have a new government for the next stage in politics in the coming year.

The spokeswoman of the parliamentary group of the Republican Left (ERC), Anna Simó, criticized the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for advancing the elections for what she considers to be, "electoral calculation". According to Simó, the early election "does not change the economic situation or the options of the People\u2019s Party nor the attitude of the Catalan parties".


  • Spanish President Mariano Rajoy (by ACN)

  • Spanish President Mariano Rajoy (by ACN)