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.And they would have gotten away with their socialist utopia, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids...
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.
Zapatero attributed the results to the state of the economy, which is struggling to shake off nearly two years of recession, and conceded many Spanish families are suffering. But he did not mention snowballing protest rallies that have riveted Spain for the past week and filled squares in Madrid and other cities. Organizers voted Sunday to keep at it another week at least.
"It is reasonable to expect that the Socialist party be punished today at the polls. We accept this and we understand it," Zapatero said at a gloomy Socialist Party headquarters, flanked by top ministers including Finance Minister Elena Salgado. She has spearheaded government efforts to prevent Spain's bloated deficit and shaky banking sector from dragging Spain further into the European debt crisis and need a bailout like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Spanish Revolution
It's a rout in Spain: