Details of tonight's encounter

25th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

After weeks of wrangling, Spain's governing Socialist Party (PSOE) and the opposition Popular Party (PP) finally agreed on the details of the upcoming nationally televised and much-anticipated debates ahead of the 9 March elections.

25 February 2008

MADRID - After weeks of wrangling, Spain's governing Socialist Party (PSOE) and the opposition Popular Party (PP) finally agreed on the details of the upcoming nationally televised and much-anticipated debates ahead of the 9 March elections.

The first of two live encounters between Zapatero and Rajoy will kick off today at 10.00pm from the IFEMA trade fair centre in Madrid and will be broadcast live on TVE-1, Cuatro and La Sexta. There will be a special report on the debate televised by Antena 3 at 12.15am.

Rajoy will kick off the first debate with Zapatero having the final word. Both candidates will meet again on 3 March. In reversed roles, Zapatero will start the debate with his opponent ending it, their speaking times monitored by professional basketball clock operators. Each candidate will initially have three minutes to introduce themselves. That will be followed by two-minute responses on the following topics: social policy, foreign policy and security, domestic policy and future government programs.

No direct questions on the economy will be asked in the first debate. Zapatero and Rajoy have three minutes to wrap up their closing statements.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

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