Even though I had planned to dedicate the current letter to a report on the immigration in Spain, I have decided to postpone that issue, because the next Spanish General Elections (i.e. national elections) are now topical and gaining momentum. It goes without saying that I will focus on immigration issues, which I understand are the most relevant to GoV readers.
The elections will take place on March 9th. The official campaign starts fifteen days before, on Friday February 22nd. We are now in the so-called pre-campaign, but there have been very relevant moves. I have made my position clear in my last two letters (first and second): I find no relevant anti-immigration party in Spain; the Popular Party is too moderate. On the other hand, any realistic conservative approach must count on the PP; therefore, the only feasible strategy is trying to influence it.
The last elections took place on March 13th after the terrorist attacks on March 11th, 2004, which changed the result of the elections due to the mismanagement of the crisis by the PP. This is the understanding of most political analysts and I find it correct, all in all. I would only like to add that there are still many open questions on the events around 11M.
The misdeeds of Mr. Zapatero in these last four years are well known. Regarding foreign policy: withdrawal from Iraq, proposal of an “Alliance of Civilizations”, embarrassing diplomatic support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and any country opposing the USA, etc. Regarding domestic policy: amnesty for aliens, negotiation with the terrorist group ETA, confrontation with the Catholic Church, extremely liberal cultural policy, and so on.
In the meantime the penetration of Spain by Muslim immigration has continued its course. Catalonia has become, after Londonistan, one of the hot spots of Jihad on EU soil. More than 70 people have been arrested since 2003 in Catalonia. The last fourteen ones, on January 19th this year. They had started to gather materials for a terrorist attack. Initially it was reported by the Spanish police that the attack would be imminent. But later reports seem to indicate that they were in the initial phases. In the skeptical opinion of some analysts, the arrests were timed by the government to buy an alibi in the case of another terrorist attack: “We have fought
Of course, the cultural and demographic jihad is as important as the violent one. The PP has made some proposals to counter it. With a 10% immigrant population, which has arrived mostly in the last eight years, immigration is a topic that no one can avoid. The PP put forward a proposal to ban the hijab in schools, and to enforce the attendance of girls at sports lessons, etc. The most relevant proposal was the introduction of an “Integration Contract” that all non-EU immigrants would be forced to sign. They would commit to respect Spanish law and customs, to learn the language, to pay taxes and to leave if unemployed for a long period.
The proposal is not clear to me. First of all, everyone should pay taxes and respect the law. How are the other commitments going to be implemented? How are they going to be enforced? The proposal is mild and ineffective (by the way, look at the subliminal message in the photo here). It is obvious that this is not the solution. The first priority is to stop immigration ASAP, and start repatriating illegal immigrants. Still, the PSOE criticized it as racist, xenophobic, etc. Zapatero answered by apologising to all women in the name of all the Spaniards. Well, a poll in El Pais (our NYT) showed that a majority supported the scheme. He went too far by doing it in the name of all Spaniards.
The leading online Spanish newspaper, El Mundo (culturally liberal, especially the online edition, but with readers from the center and, mostly, the right), has a section dedicated to the elections, with a page on the electoral promises. I do not think that it is a coincidence that the first point is immigration. Not the economy, not terrorism (which in Spain means Basque terrorism), not housing, but immigration. Here you have the promises:
By the PP:
- - - - - - - - -
- To establish an “integration contract” with juridical value for the immigrants who stay for more than one year in Spain.
- To prohibit massive regularization of illegal immigrants.
- To strengthen the control of the borders.
- To create a new system of visas and permissions.
- To create an Agency for Immigration and Employment.
- To reinforce the policy of expulsions and repatriations.
They are a little bit generic, but they point in the right direction: limiting immigration.
Now these are the promises by PSOE:
- To promote migratory policies from an integral approach, mixed with the tidy and legal management of the migratory flows, and relying on the co-responsibility and solidarity of all the implied countries.
- To promote the public migratory bilateral and multilateral policies.
- The immigrants who have committed crimes related to gender violence will be expelled.
Well…The first sentence cannot hide the newspeak style of professional politics. In any case, it means that the PSOE plans to continue fostering immigration. The last point is a sickening concession to feminism. Only gender violence? I leave it to you to judge both proposals.
Now, the latest news of the pre-campaign.
The salt and pepper of the campaign has been added unintentionally by Zapatero. After a staged, partial interview with the most notorious progressive journalist, they had a short off-the-record exchange that got aired:
What about the opinion polls?
“No worries. Fine. But I think that a higher tension level is in our favor.”
Right, you need tension indeed.
“And then, as from this weekend, I will start dramatizing.”
This strategy is fully in line with the conclusions of the study mentioned in a previous letter: the result of Spanish national elections is determined by the vote of the “volatile left”, a group of two million voters who vote for the PSOE, but only when they want to avoid a government by the right. Zapatero needs therefore to stir up the hatred of his opponents. This is of course a well know fascist strategy.
It can be no coincidence that groups of radical students have organized violent pickets against three politicians from the PP and the UPyD who had been invited to a deliver a speech at the University. The latter is a new party from the left chaired by a prominent ex-PSOE leader who opposes any concessions to secessionists. You can find all three videos here. I am sure you will have no difficulty in understanding the Sturmabteilung of Mr. Zapatero and the Catalan and Galician secessionists shouting Fascista! By the way, all three are women; two of them, from the Basque region, are among the most courageous Spanish politicans. They have been living for many years under 24/7 hours personal protection. Still, Rosa Díez, from UPyD broke down during her speech after the intimidating attack.
The PP has been accused afterwards of trying to take advantage of irrelevant, marginal incidents. The PSOE claimed that: “these are the consequences of the high level of strain and radicalism the PP has brought about”. The coordinator of Zapatero’s campaign has assured that the harassment will finish after the elections… In a democracy, the opposition harasses the government; in fascism, the government harasses the opposition.
I want to finish with a reference to the Spanish economy. It had been performing in recent years as well as during the Aznar government, but the situation has reversed after the credit crisis. Spanish growth has been too dependent on building and housing, and has been badly affected by the credit crunch. You can find here the main figures of the Spanish economy (source):
Spain is column A, the USA column B. The rows show:
|2.||Growth in last quarter 2007;|
|3.||Building sector as percentage of GNP;|
The fat years are definitely over.
I will update during the next two weeks. I can recommend to you also an American blogger located in Spain.