Expatica news

Rival leaders outline visions

5 March 2004

MADRID – Mariano Rajoy, priminsterial candidate for the conservative Popular Party, laid out Friday his priorities as the election campaign neared its climax.

Rajoy said the fight against terrorism, the economy and what he called his “vision of Spain” were his main aims as the campaign entered its final week.

He claimed his adversary, socialist leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has no clear ideas on these issues.

Rajoy stressed he wanted to be able to say one day that he did the best he could to make life easier for Spaniards.

Meanwhile Zapatero, leader of the main opposition PSOE party, claimed that his is the only party that can bring about real change in Spain.

Zapatero said the PP government has left Spain trailing in Europe on several fronts, including education.

He  opened his campaign by stating his convictions – no killing, no lying, no stealing and no tolerance for sexual abuse.

Zapatero is also promising equal rights for women, an improved health system, higher pensions, better education, research, development and innovation, and has made constant allusions to the Prestige disaster and the Iraq war.

The Prestige oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Galicia in November 2001, spilling 70,000 litres of oil and causing longstanding environmental problems.

The government’s handling of the disaster has been widely criticised.

Spain’s support for the US-led invasion of Iraq also provoked huge opposition to the government with 80 percent of Spaniards said to be against this policy.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news