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Mixed feelings in Spain over Libya mission

Last month, Spain’s Congress approved a two-month extension of Spanish military support for NATO operations in Libya. Like the Socialist government’s initial backing for the UN-blessed operation, which began in March, it was not an overly controversial decision politically – only the small Communist-led United Left bloc opposed.


Publicly, however, Spaniards are split over the merits of an intervention in an Arab state, which to some observers at least brings back uncomfortable memories of the former Popular Party administration’s backing for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. While the Iraq intervention was widely unpopular – drawing millions of Spaniards onto the country’s streets in protest – the Libya mission has drawn no such outcry.

Among Iberosphere readers, 45 percent support Spain’s involvement in the NATO mission, according to an (admittedly unscientific) poll on this website last month. Forty percent oppose Spain being involved, and 15 percent said they were indifferent.

Spain is backing the NATO campaign, launched under a UN mandate to protect civilians from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces, with up to 500 troops. Defense Minister Carme Chacón said Spain would also contribute to humanitarian operations in the country should the UN mandate such a measure.

Our new poll, published today on the Iberosphere homepage, asks whether readers think the governing Socialist party is heading for a sweeping defeat in the local elections that are due to be held nationwide on May 22.

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Published: May 3 2011
Category: Iberoblog
Republication: Creative Commons, non-commercial
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1 Comment for “Mixed feelings in Spain over Libya mission”

  1. Mass media learned how to campaign for a ‘good’ war, while the people learned to shut up. Great teamwork!

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