Spanish MEP quits socialists to join new party

31st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2007, MADRID - A Spanish member of the European Parliament, Rosa Diez, said Thursday she was stepping down from the post as well as from Spain's ruling Socialist Party to help start a new political party in Spain.

31 August 2007

MADRID - A Spanish member of the European Parliament, Rosa Diez, said Thursday she was stepping down from the post as well as from Spain's ruling Socialist Party to help start a new political party in Spain.

"I have made the decision to quit the Spanish Socialist Party and abandon my mandate as a lawmaker in the European Parliament," she told a televised news conference in Bilbao in Spain's northern Basque region.

The announcement comes as Spain gears up for a general election in March 2008.

Diez, 55, entered the European Parliament in 1999 and had been a member of Spain's Socialists for 30 years.

She has been critical of the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, particularly his failed efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

Her views regarding the fight against ETA were closer to that of the main opposition conservatives which urged a hardline and had irritated Socialist representatives who said they had expected Diez to quit the party.

Diez said she would now dedicated herself "full time" to help form a new party, which is expected to be launched in September by the leaders of anti-ETA citizens movement "Basta Ya" or "That's Enough".

The party aims to be an alternative to the Socialist Party and the conservative Popular Party and it will take part in the next general election.

[Copyright AFP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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