3 ago. 2011

Spanish Politics

Spain is a relatively prosperous country, pretty much on a par with economies like Italy and just below the level of the other G7 nations. The top industrialized nations of the world.

Or so it seemed until recently. The economic crisis has hit it hard. The president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ZP for short, emphasized social issue, like gay marriage, the recovery of historical memory, etc... and also was successful in repressing ETA terrorism, with several high profile arrests. Basque separatists have all but renounced violence at this point. The economic crisis has hit the Spanish economy and the ZP government very hard. The movement of "indignados" of the May 15 movement has been camping out in the Puerta del sol and the Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Madrid. Indignados are disaffected and unemployed people disgusted with the political system as a whole. The left cannot harness them for electoral support because the economic crisis occurred with the Left in power.

ZP has called an election for next November 20, and it doesn't look good for the ruling PSOE. The candidate will be the recently resigned Vice President and Interior minister, Rubalcaba. He is more impressive than the PP candidate, Mariano Rajoy, but his party is less popular. So Rajoy, a hard-righter turned moderate for electoral reasons, is likely to win, despite the corruption scandals in his party. There was a huge scandal in Valencia, with the leader of the autonomous government there involved in a scheme in which a lot of expensive suits were given out as bribes.

The successor to Batasuna, an illegalized party associated with ETA, is Bildu, newly legalized and regenerated and in control of one of the three Basque provinces. So if Rajoy wins, the country will be even more divided, since the PP has even less tolerance for the Izquierda Abertzale than the PSOE has.

6 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

If all the indignados achieve will be putting Rajoy in power, that will be a huge waste of time, energy and protests.

This is yet another country which is suffering from what is effectively a 2-party system.

Jonathan dijo...

It's actually worse than that, because the nationalist parties only care about their corners of the peninsula.

Profesor F-B dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Profesor F-B dijo...

Just a couple of things, as a Spaniard. About PSOE, populist social measures, and having "Socialist" in the name of your party does not make you leftist (I know of more than one "smart" guy that say that the Nazis were socialists too). PSOE stopped making economic leftist politics around 1986, and it is hard to say, but workers have lost most of their negotiating power while PSOE was in power.
Also, about the indignados, I assure you Clarissa (hola compañera), that putting Rajoy in power is as far as you can be of 90% of the indignados' intention.
How sad is that Spain has become a bipartidist country, and both of the contending parties are almost the same bs!

Clarissa dijo...

My favorite colleague is here! Yay!

Isn't it lovely how we are all connecting in the blogosphere?

"putting Rajoy in power is as far as you can be of 90% of the indignados' intention"

-I know! I can't wait to hear you tell me all about the movement. I will need as much info as possible for my Hisp Civ class.

Profesor F-B dijo...

Oh!! We'll have to overdose on coffee, and then get to it!)