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Spanish Socialists Sunken

SwitzerlandFinn de Thomas Wagner, International School of Berne
December 5, 2011

NEWS

November 20th this year marked the worst election result for the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) since the transition to Democracy in Spain, which was marked by Franco’s death on November 20th 1975. The election result, however, was not a surprise. For months before the election, many were expecting it. The winner of the elections was, as expected, the liberal conservative Popular Party (PP), who now have an absolute majority in parliament, making the difficult task of passing new legislation easier. This will be especially important to try to pull Spain out of their current economic situation as soon as possible.
As of December 20th 2011, Spain’s new prime minister will be Mariano Rajoy from the PP. He has already presented some of his plans, which focus on recovering Spain’s economy and reducing the unemployment rate, which is currently 21%. This is the worst unemployment rate in 15 years and the biggest concern of Spanish citizens. Everyone knows at least one of the 4.5 million people who are currently unemployed.
The PP gained 32 seats, an increase of 4.68% of their votes, while the PSOE lost 59 seats, a loss of 15.14% of their votes. This shows that PP did not gain as many seats as it could have, as it did not receive all of the votes which the PSOE lost. This also indicates depolarization amongst Spanish voters, meaning that they vote neither for the right nor left, but rather for parties which are in between, and much smaller than the two previously mentioned parties. When we look at the election results, we can see that the smaller parties, from the ones that received the third most votes through the sixth most votes, have gained power and seats in parliament. People are losing their trust in the large significant parties and voting for smaller ones, a trend similar to what we have also seen in the recent Swiss parliamentary elections.
But what do the people in Spain actually think about the election? Manuel Ruz, a worker for a company in the Polymer business, says “Nothing will change.” Many people have lost faith in the government in general in Spain, and some people like Manuel think that the situation cannot really change without a lot of time, work and effort.

The photograph shows Spain’s new prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, of the Popular Party shaking hands at the Plaza de Toros in Valencia. The image is available under a Creative Commons license on Flickr, © ppcv.

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