Feathers fly on Zapatero's anniversary

15th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2005, MADRID-Both leading political parties did not miss the chance for some sparring on the anniversary of the election of the Socialist government a year ago.

15 March 2005

MADRID-Both leading political parties did not miss the chance for some sparring on the anniversary of the election of the Socialist government a year ago.

A series of accusations flew between the Socialists and Popular Party leaders over how Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero came to power and how he has handled his first year in office.

Socialist Party secretary Jose Blanco saidthe country's current government "listens, discusses and agrees," adding that the administration had made "a 180-degree turn" with respect to the previous government of the conservative Popular Party (PP) headed by former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

He said that Spaniards did not "feel comfortable with the PP's neocentralism," adding that the party - which governed from 1996 to 2004 - "made decisions against the majority, without listening to anyone except its supporters and without respecting anyone."

Blanco also said that the public wanted "a government that (views) diversity as a great opportunity and not as an evil to be combatted."

"That's what has changed in Spain over the course of this year," he added.

Blanco, in his review of the Socialist administration's activities and approach, said that the economy "continues to go well ... (and) Spain is a more secure country" now that more technical and human resources had been devoted to fight terrorism.

He also remarked that the government had "committed itself decisively to peace."

In contrast, PP secretary general Angel Acebes said that the Socialist government's performance during its first year had been "very poor" and had been characterized by an "ineffective" administration.

He also said that Zapatero himself had proved to be "bankrupt."

Acebes told journalists that "judgment is necessary to govern and the prime minister does not govern," and he added that what Spain needs is a leader who "makes decisions and defend its interests ... (instead of) smiling and being frivolous for a year."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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