Zapatero steps into upper house
11 May 2004
MADRID – Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero started his long-promised reform of the Constitution Tuesday.
The new Spanish premier decided to address the Senate or upper house of parliament, the first time a prime minister had done this since his Socialist predecessor Felipe Gonzalez in 1986.
Before that Gonzalez did the same in 1982.
Zapatero outlined his proposed reform of the Constitution which will mean changes for representatives in the upper house.
The new premier wants to give a little more power to the regions in order to secure more support for the Socialists from Catalans, Basques, Galicians and other regional groups.
Zapatero also wants to change the way that senators – or representatives in the upper house – are elected.
It would benefit the regional parties but not the main opposition Popular Party.
The PP, which is centralist, rejected proposals to change the Constitution and opposes the reform.
Zapatero also outlined his new legislative programme.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news