Gov courts center ground by avoiding sensitive social issues

29th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2007, Madrid - In the wake of a legislature marked by ambitious social initiatives including the legalization of gay marriage and the approval of stem cell research, Spain's governing Socialist Party is toning down its strategy ahead of the general election next March in an apparent bid to reach out to conservatives.

29 November 2007

Madrid - In the wake of a legislature marked by ambitious social initiatives including the legalization of gay marriage and the approval of stem cell research, Spain's governing Socialist Party is toning down its strategy ahead of the general election next March in an apparent bid to reach out to conservatives.

According to party sources, campaign chief Jesús Caldera, in coordination with other party bosses and Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has established certain boundaries that the party will not cross in the 2008 election campaign. Surprisingly, some of those "red lines" leave out of bounds promises that were among the Socialist Party's election pledges in 2004.

The most notable absences concern highly controversial issues, specifically abortion and euthanasia. In 2004, Zapatero had told voters that his government would reform legislation governing both procedures.

He promised to allow women to abort in the early stages of pregnancy, without having to fulfill certain criteria established under the 1985 law. He also promised to create a congressional committee to study euthanasia and the right to a "dignified death." Neither pledge has been fulfilled, and, for 2008, both are being ignored entirely.

Notably, the Socialist Party is also avoiding raising taxes as part of this strategy.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. / A. DÍEZ / E. DE BENITO 2007]

Subject: Spanish news


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