Parties exchange blows as election campaign hots up
20 January 2004
MADRID – The leader of the ruling conservative Popular Party promised Tuesday his party would be “serious, realistic and will honour its promises”.
Mariano Rajoy, the prime ministerial candidate for the PP after Jose Maria Aznar’s decision to stand down after eight years in power, launched a direct attack on the opposition socialist party.
He said Tuesday that his party would concentrate on the problems of real people and the PP manifesto will not include “frivolities or unfounded promises” just “to look good”.
The main opposition socialist PSOE party hit back calling for the body officiated over the election to stop the PP using public funds to help finance its campaign.
Spain’s general election will be held on 14 March and the official campaign does not start until next month.
But since Aznar announced the date of the election nearly two weeks ago, both main parties having been campaigning in earnest.
The PP currently stands 10 points ahead of the main opposition socialist PSOE party, led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Rajoy said the PP manifesto would be revealed in the next few weeks.
He attacked the PSOE, who he claimed had “no model to run the state or the economy”.
Rajoy said that without political stability the country could not have economic prosperity, adding: “I guarantee stability.”
He claimed his party could offer “equality of opportunity, rights and obligations for all”, something which the PSOE could not deliver.
The PSOE asked the body which officiates over the general election to stop the publicity campaign by the government about supposed improvements for freelance workers in Spain.
At a press conference, Jesus Caldera, PSOE spokesman, said Rajoy should not use public money to benefit the electoral hopes of PP candidates.
Caldera also accused the PP of flouting the rules of the democratic ‘game’.
He insisted that Rajoy should not exploit public television to help in the election campaign.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news