The campaign for the European Parliamentary elections has got underway in Spain with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s first electoral rally.
With Spain hard hit by the recession, Zapatero told supporters that recovery was on the way and accused his opponents of talking down the economy. “As soon as positive news appears, it gets on their nerves,” he said. “They don’t want to see good news, the writers and the chatterers, people who are criticising the government. But I tell you, we are going to see good news, we are going to achieve results.” However opinion polls put the Socialists well behind the Popular Party of Mariano Rajoy who reacted with irony to Zapatero’s claims, at a rally in La Coruna. “He told us there was no crisis. He told us there would be full employment,” said Rajoy. “Today all he promises is subsidies and, in a few months time, he will ask us to be patient and offer us a herbal tea.” Unemployment in Spain, at more that 17 percent, is the highest in the European Union and the country has been in recession since the end of 2008.