Usually when voters go to the polls they have an idea about competing politicians’ policies, and only a vague idea about which of them is going to win. But when Spaniards vote in early elections in one month’s time, they will know, almost for sure, who will win, though they’ve got only the faintest clue as to what that might mean.
As his second term draws to an end with the start of the general election campaign, Zapatero’s party is in a mess of its own making.
Greece, Ireland and now Portugal. Debt-ridden, deficit-laden and bankrupt were it not for bailouts from abroad. Spain is the fourth and final letter in the hackneyed PIGS acronym for Europe’s struggling economies. It is also the biggest, and its economic future will decide the fate of the euro zone.
Once again, the Spanish economy is under pressure from the markets. But while comparing the country to Ireland may be unjustified, the government’s reluctance to send a clear message can only encourage speculators.
Spain is attempting to perform a tightrope act as it emerges from recession. However, current political developments risk upsetting the economy’s recovery.