International

¡Que viva Espana! ¿Que viva Rajoy?[1]

The sanction was expected and the result incontestable. As planned, the Spanish people fired the José Luis Zapatero socialist government and voted in favour of the right-opposition led by Mariano Rajoy who is going to rule the country.

A country deeply affected by the crisis with a very high unemployment rate, a deep debt crisis and a very low growth. In spite of reforms and austerity policies driven by the Partido Socialiste Obero Espanol leader (PSOE, Spanish Workers Socialist Party), the situation was hardly better which explains the crushing defeat of the socialists in the Cortes (the Spanish Parliament). Nonetheless, with 110 seats (169 during the previous mandate), the socialists MPs can stay dignified and, avoided the worst in a very difficult political and economic context, according to me.

Nonetheless, the Partido Popular (PP, Spanish People’s Party) back to power, after seven-year-opposition, doesn’t excite the citizens really if I refer to a very low turnout rate (about 60%) and the opinion of the national press. Spaniards, literally worn down by two mandates of Zapatero and seven years of power, were finally resigned through the situation, which probably explains the huge defeat of the socialists, unable to find a credible way out to the crisis in spite of some painful but courageous policies.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, PSOE heading list, the 20th of November after the results

The coming of Rajoy as new Spanish head of government should not change a lot of things in the other side of the Pyrenees. The future President of government even recognized this declaring he was not going to promise anything but blood and tears which is not really enthusiastic (especially when we know Rajoy has no charisma!)

Some people would be attempted to put Zapatero in the bins of the History, accusing him of all the problems of Spain. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to put his action as leader firmly behind. Indeed, some measures as the gay marriage or the abortion legalisation are a genuine revolution in this traditionally catholic country. Besides, some Spanish have some concerns about the Rajoy’s intentions vis-à-vis these benefits. But, the new head of government has something else to do before tackle these measures.

So, let’s wait and see, as said Luis, my Spanish comrade at College of Europe, the last year in Natolin. Rajoy will have to show his competence and act fast with intelligence if he doesn’t want to know the same fate then Zapatero, sanctioning by a disillusioned people who lost faith in politics since several months.

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[1] Live for Spain, live for Rajoy ?

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