Zapatero: I have delivered on my promises
14 April 2005, MADRID - Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero claimed his government has brought Spain the change he promised when he came to power a year ago.
14 April 2005
MADRID - Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero claimed his government has brought Spain the change he promised when he came to power a year ago.
The premier met with Socialist members of the Spanish lower house to review the administration's first year in office and to express appreciation for the public's support of its initiatives.
Zapatero began by saying that Spain is engaged in "a sustained political project for change and improvement".
While the Spanish economy was growing at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in April 2004, he pointed out, "growth was 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 and we are now growing at around 3 percent".
The prime minister also hailed the creation of nearly 500,000 new jobs since he took office, noting that almost two-thirds of the positions were filled by women.
Sexual equality is a central issue for the Socialist premier, who made history by naming Spain's first Cabinet with an equal number of men and women.
Zapatero, who upset Aznar's handpicked successor, Mariano Rajoy, by winning the March 2004 elections asserted that after a year of Socialist government, the rule of law "is stronger every day".
Reviewing progress in Spain's battle with terrorism, the premier said his government had so far detained 150 suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA.
He added ETA attacks were at an all-time low since it launched its campaign for an independent Basque state in 1968.
Spanish authorities have also aggressively pursued investigations into Islamic militants with links to the group responsible for the March 2004 bombings that left nearly 200 dead in Madrid.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news