Galician president denies chauvinist remarks

13th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 June 2005, MADRID – The president of the Galician regional assembly has denied making remarks which have been branded chauvinistic.

13 June 2005

MADRID – The president of the Galician regional assembly has denied making remarks which have been branded chauvinistic.

Manuel Fraga, the last heavyweight politician to have served under Spain’s dictator General Francisco Franco, is hoping to retain his presidency in the region’s elections on Sunday.

However, opinion polls at the end of last week predicted he would lose his absolute majority in the parliament, with the PP expected to finish with between 34-36 seats, down from its 41 seats in 2001.

When asked by the press for his reaction to the polls, which said the socialists could end up in a coalition government in Galicia with the Nationalist Galician Block (BNG), Fraga said the responses of the yet-undecided voters were giving a false impression of his actual support.

"If you ask a woman how many men she has slept with, she won’t give you an absolutely accurate response," he added.

Fraga’s remarks, which were reported by news agency EFE and diffused on radio and TV, plunged the Galician PP into yet more hot water. It has already had to defend the decision of the 82-year-old to stand again.

The PP announced to the press that Fraga would explain himself at a meeting in Ferrol on Saturday night, but the Galician president made no mention of the polemic which his remarks had caused.

The same night, the Galician PP released a statement, attributed to Fraga, which claimed that his remarks had been taken out of context and "twisted". However, he apologised to those who "feel injured" by the comments.

On Sunday, though, Fraga told the press he had never made the controversial comment. "I didn’t say it," he said. "I want someone to show me the recording where I said it."

When it was pointed out that the remarks were recorded, Fraga stated: "That recording is false."

In front of an audience of 400 people in Allariz, BNG candidate Anxo Quintana called on women to use the polls on Sunday to silence Fraga. "He’s disgustingly chauvinistic," said Quintana.

Spain’s president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also criticised Fraga’s attitude to women. In a speech backing the Galician socialist candidate Emilio Perez Tourino, Zapatero called on PP leader Mariano Rajoy to convince Fraga to put "a bit of common sense" into his words.

"Rajoy says there are going to be waves of common sense at the polls," said Zapatero. "I don’t mind agreeing with my rival. It would be good if he doesn’t wait until the 19th and puts a bit of common sense into the things which Fraga says about women".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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