Tag Archives: Popular Party

Conservatives defeat socialists by a landslide in Spain election

Political Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe

The UK Telegraph explains.

Excerpt:

With almost 98 per cent of the vote counted the Popular Party won 186 seats in the 350 seat congress garnering a strong mandate to push through further austerity measures in an attempt to turn around an economy that risks being engulfed by the sovereign debt crisis.

[…]The socialists suffered their biggest defeat since Spain became a democracy more than 30 years ago, punished by an electorate for their perceived bungling of the economic crisis that has left 5 million unemployed.

[…]Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, 60, the prime ministerial candidate who took the helm of the PSOE when Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said he would not seek a third term, conceded defeat after the party won just 110 seats down from 169 in 2008.

“The Socialist Party did not have a good result. We clearly lost the elections,” he told party faithful in Madrid.

The conservatives won roughly 44 per cent of the votes and the Socialists took 29 per cent, according to official election results.

The Wall Street Journal analyzes the election result.

Excerpt:

Formerly a solid growth engine for the region’s economy, Spain today is grappling with a burst housing bubble, a 21% unemployment rate and borrowing costs near levels that triggered the international bailouts of several fiscally frail euro-zone peers.

Analysts said the election of Mariano Rajoy, the conservative leader who has committed to austerity and economic overhauls, could help improve investor sentiment toward Spain, but won’t fundamentally change perceptions that Spain and other peripheral nations are risky investments. For that, they said, European Union institutions will have to extend more support, possibly by converting the European Central Bank into a lender of last resort.

[…]The groundswell of support for Mr. Rajoy is chiefly the result of a deep economic crisis that has forced Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to make unpopular budget cuts and economic overhauls. Earlier this year, Mr. Zapatero said he wouldn’t seek re-election and his party chose the veteran Mr. Pérez Rubalcaba to succeed him.

Analysts said the fact that change in Spain was coming via the ballot box was another sign of a better track record on governance, which has helped to keep Spanish borrowing costs below those of its fiscally frail peers.

Although Mr. Zapatero lacked a parliamentary majority, he was able to deliver all the measures he promised last year, including a public-sector wage cut, a pension freeze and a labor-market overhaul.

As a result, a clear victory for Mr. Rajoy, who has promised to take overhauls much further than his Socialist rivals, is widely expected to shore up confidence in the Spanish economy inside and outside the country.

Many recall the Popular Party-led governments of José María Aznar of 1996-2004 for their far-reaching moves that helped set the stage for a lengthy economic boom. Mr. Rajoy headed various ministries during that time.

At a polling station in Madrid’s Chamberí district, 18-year-old engineering student Diego Cubero said he had voted for the first time and chosen the Popular Party.

This is the end of a huge mistake made by the Spanish people in 2004 when they elected the socialists. Never, ever, ever elect socialists unless you want your economy to end up like Greece. That’s what socialists do to economies.

Spanish conservatives defeat socialists in regional and local elections

Political Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (H/T Bret Baier)

Excerpt:

Spain’s ruling Socialists suffered a crushing defeat to conservatives in local and regional elections Sunday, yielding power even in traditional strongholds against a backdrop of staggering unemployment and unprecedented sit-ins by Spaniards furious with what they see as politicians who don’t care about their plight.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the result was due punishment of his government for the state of the economy — the jobless rate is a eurozone high of 21.3 percent. But he said he had no plans to move up general elections, which must be held by March of next year, and pledged to press on with job-creating reforms despite the loud outcry of opposition to his party.

The win for the conservative opposition Popular Party puts it in even a stronger position to win the general elections and return to power after eight years of Socialist rule.

In what Spanish media said was the worst performance on record by the Socialist Party in local and regional elections, the numbers reflecting the loss were stunning: the conservative Popular Party won at the municipal level by about two million votes, compared to 150,000 in its win in 2007, and in 13 regional governments that were up for grabs, Zapatero’s party lost in virtually all of them.

One was Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain, where the Socialists have always held power. The Socialists also lost bastions like the town halls in Barcelona and Seville. The conservatives padded their majorities in Madrid and Valencia, in the latter even though the president is under investigation for corruption. Several other Socialist-controlled regional governments also fell. Spain’s electoral map turned largely blue — the color of the Popular Party.

I can see why Zapatero would want to avoid calling federal elections. Spain’s youth unemployment stands at 45% and he is very likely to be thrown out of power completely. I’m sure a lot of the young people voted for socialism, because socialism is so trendy in movies, music, in the universities, and on television . But the young people are finding out now that you cannot cover your nakedness with empty rhetoric, you cannot feed your stomach with feelings of self-congratulation, and you cannot coerce employers to hire you by demonizing capitalism.