Most Spaniards think Aznar leads opposition

27th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004, MADRID - A majority of Spaniards believe former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar still holds the reins of conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), according to a Monday opinion poll.

27 September 2004

MADRID - A majority of Spaniards believe former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar still holds the reins of conservative opposition Popular Party (PP), according to a Monday opinion poll.

The poll, published by the Opina Institute for Spanish Cadena Ser radio, showed 55.9 percent of those questioned saw Aznar as wielding more influence than Mariano Rajoy, who succeeded the former as PP leader a year ago.

Only 30.2 percent disagreed with the contention.

Aznar stepped down after eight years as prime minister in April but had intended that Rajoy would succeed him as head of government.

However, the Madrid train bombings on 11 March which the PP initially blamed on Basque extremists ultimately helped to cast the party from government as the Socialist Party triumphed under Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in a 14 March general election.

On Friday, the 51-year-old Aznar, who spent 14 years as party leader, is due to be given the post of honorary PP president when the party holds its annual congress.

Aznar had said before the election he had no plans to stay in politics thereafter but 65.2 percent of the 1,000-strong poll sample believe he will continue to have a major influence on party policy.

In a separate poll, for the Spanish daily El Pais, the majority of Spaniards said they approved of the Socialist government's social reforms which include speeding up divorces, introducing gay marriages and making abortion easier.

Fifty-three percent of those asked said they supported the reforms.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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