Hasta la victoria siempre! – Victory for Spanish Socialists


Spain's socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, won a convincing general election victory last night after a campaign thrown into turmoil at the last minute by the killing of a politician, blamed on Basque separatists Eta.

With 96% of results in, the Spanish Socialist Worker's party had won 43.7% of the vote, giving it 169 seats in the lower house, an increase of five on 2004, but short of the 176 needed for an absolute majority. The People's party won 40.1%, which translates to 154 seats, up six on 2004. See map of the results here.

Speaking to ecstatic supporters at the socialist party's headquarters in central Madrid last night, Zapatero first paid tribute to Isaias Carrasco, the former socialist town councillor who was shot dead two days before the elections. He went on to thank the "voters who have given a clear victory to the Socialist party", after a polling day that saw a turnout of over 75%. He explained "The Spanish people have spoken clearly and decided to start a new era... I will govern for all, but thinking, before anyone else, of those who don't have it all,"

The Spanish Socialists proposed in their manifesto
  • the introduction of a European framework directive on public services
  • strengthening workers’ rights, notably through the revision of European law on worker information and consultation
  • a common European migration policy, defining integration policies, the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration and favouring legal migration
  • the creation of a common border police
  • regulating hedge funds and tackling financial speculation
  • promoting the creation of an Alliance of Civilisations at global level
  • introducing a solidarity mechanism for energy supply

In the next four years, Zapatero plans to extend his social reforms, pledging to create 2m jobs, to increase the minimum wage and maternity leave and to spend heavily on a high-speed train network. The socialists want to introduce stronger anti-discrimination legislation, and promise a string of green laws, including spending €9bn on renovating houses to reduce their emissions.

Samuel Tarry, Chair of Compass Youth congratulated the Spanish Socialist Workers Party: "Internationalism is the cornerstone of democratic socialism; in the globalised world social democrats should welcome this victory for progressive politics. To build a new social Europe that will withstand the ravages of accelerated capitalism each victory for social democrats strengthens our cause and our resolve. Social Democracy has been under threat across Europe and is still mortally wounded in the UK with the continuing drive to introduce marketisation into the public sector instead of recognising the public value that public services bring to the social fabric of society coupled with the myth that innovation only comes from the private sector. We need to find European and global social democratic solutions to the problems facing the world, the victory of the Spanish Socialists shows that there is a viable alternative to the neo-liberal consensus, one that we are proud to have supported by sending young activists to campaign for. I wish Zapatero and all of our Spanish comrades all the best with the programme of progressive reforms and the progressive 'new era' they hope to usher in."


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant news; particularly like the manifesto pledges about tackling uncontrollable hedge-funds and currency speculation and improving worker's rights - Mr Brown take note.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant news; particularly like the manifesto pledges about tackling uncontrollable hedge-funds and currency speculation and improving worker's rights - Mr Brown take note.