Alexa

Spain PM party rules out early elections

 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero speaks on the phone before a vote aimed at reducing the country's deficit during a plenary sessio...
 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero leaves a plenary session in the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Thursday, May 27, 2010. Spanish law...
 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,  lower left, applauds next to Deputy premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, bottom 2nd left ...
 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, and Deputy Premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega react after a vote aimed at reducing ...
 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,  left, Deputy premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, center and Spain's Finance Minister Ele...
 Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, right, leaves a plenary session in the Spanish parliament in Madrid Thursday May 27, 2010. Spani...

Spain Financial crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero speaks on the phone before a vote aimed at reducing the country's deficit during a plenary sessio...

Spain Finalcial Crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero leaves a plenary session in the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Thursday, May 27, 2010. Spanish law...

Spain Financial crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, lower left, applauds next to Deputy premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, bottom 2nd left ...

Spain Financial crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, and Deputy Premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega react after a vote aimed at reducing ...

Spain Financial crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, Deputy premier Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, center and Spain's Finance Minister Ele...

Spain Finalcial Crisis

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, right, leaves a plenary session in the Spanish parliament in Madrid Thursday May 27, 2010. Spani...

The Spanish prime minister's party on Friday ruled out early elections even though a cliffhanger vote that just barely approved austerity measures showed Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has only shaky parliamentary support as he tries to shepherd Spain through recession and Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
Jose Antonio Alonso, a spokesman in parliament for Zapatero's Socialist party, said his boss's job is to serve out his full four-year term in good times and bad and "he will continue to do so."
Alonso spoke on Spanish National Radio a day after Zapatero's austerity package freezing pensions and cutting civil servants' wages passed by just one vote.
The package, urged by the rest of Europe, the IMF and even US President Barack Obama, is designed to reassure markets worried that Spain's deficit and debt problems might mushroom into a Greek-style crisis.
Many Spanish newspapers ran editorials Friday calling the vote a turning point in Zapatero's efforts to usher Spain through its economic crisis, with conservative dailies labeling it the beginning of the end for him.
There seemed to be a collective, national sigh of relief that the package passed, albeit by a razor-thin margin.
Rafael Simancas, one lawmaker in Zapatero's party, wrote that had it not, Spain's credibility would have taken a beating, dragging down stock prices and sparking a huge rise in the government's borrowing costs.
Even the newspaper El Pais, which generally supports Zapatero, said "Spain came within one vote of situation that would have take it closer to that of Greece."
Zapatero's party was the only one in Parliament to vote in favor of the austerity package. It passed only because three smaller parties abstained, and even then they did so to spare Spain humiliation, not because they backed the measures.
Josep Antoni Duran y Lleida, a prominent Catalan nationalist politician whose party helped Zapatero by abstaining, said Zapatero should now enact economic reforms he has yet to address, such as loosening up a stodgy labor market, then resign and call elections for next year. They are not due until 2012.
"Your time as prime minister is over," Duran y Lleida said during debate prior to Thursday's vote.


Updated : 2021-01-22 03:06 GMT+08:00