Destinations Magazine

Spain’s Socialists: Why Spain’s Left is in a Funk

By Stizzard

ALFREDO PÉREZ RUBALCABA, leader of Spain’s beleaguered opposition Socialists, is a man with a noose around his neck. It is slowly tightening. More than a year after his party lost power its poll ratings remain below those of Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP). They are five points down on their November 2011 election result, standing at just 23%.This is remarkable. Spain’s economy has tumbled deeper into recession under the premiership of Mr Rajoy. A further 700,000 people have joined the dole queues, pushing unemployment to 26.2% of the workforce. And as the value of their homes falls further, frightened Spanish consumers are keeping purses zipped tight. Many must raid savings to get by.Wage earners and pensioners are all getting poorer. Of the more needy, 1.9m unemployed do not receive state benefits. And, as Spaniards digest tax rises and spending cuts, protests from health, education and other public workers are a daily occurrence.Mr Rajoy’s PP, meanwhile, is engulfed in a corruption scandal. The man he appointed party treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, hid €22m ($ 28.5m) in Switzerland. Newspapers allege he ran a secret party slush-fund with senior PP noses in the trough. Promises of green pastures further down the road of austerity have yet to convince voters. The PP’s poll ratings have fallen from 45% to 24% since the election.So why are the Socialists not storming ahead? Many…

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