Bush victory provokes row over relations with US

3rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 November 2004, MADRID - As results from the US election pointed to a victory for George W Bush, Spain's main opposition party claimed on Wednesday the Socialist government's frosty relationship with Washington will cause the country problems in the future.

3 November 2004

MADRID - As results from the US election pointed to a victory for George W Bush, Spain's main opposition party claimed on Wednesday the Socialist government's frosty relationship with Washington will cause the country problems in the future.

The conservative Popular Party claimed the government's "clumsy" relationship with the Bush administration in the past would create more problems if the US President is re-elected.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was accused of putting "all his eggs in the basket" of Democratic candidate John Kerry.

The White House claimed victory on behalf  of George W Bush on Wednesday, though the Democrats had not conceded.

But as the final votes were still being counted in the US, the official line from the Spanish government was neutral, with a spokesman saying: "Whoever wins, wins."

José Bono, defence minister, said the "friendship and alliance" between the two countries would continue whoever won the White House.

Bono added: "Perhaps this would be a good moment to reaffirm that the Spanish and the American people are friends and this friendship is what the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero aims to continue."

Foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos rejected suggestions that it would more difficult to maintain relations with Washington after the victory of George W Bush.

Zapatero was expected to give some reaction to the US election result later.

The Spanish premier had stayed up until 5am on Wednesday watching the results in the Moncloa palace, the seat of government in Madrid.

Earlier, the PP spokesman on foreign affairs, Gustavo de Arístegui, accused the government of being "ingenuous and irresponsible" by supporting Kerry.

He told Punto Radio station: "I think they have been very clumsy with respect to the United Status and not only with respect to Bush."

Aristegui also referred to the incident last year when Zapatero, then leader of the opposition, refused to stand during Spain's national day celebrations as US troops marched past, in protest at the Iraq invasion.

Aristegui claimed the incident had knock-on effects after Israel, a staunch US ally, said it would not build naval ships in a Spanish port, using the state-shipbuilding firm Izar.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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