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Staring defeat in the face : the Spanish Socialist (PSOE) Government from Zapatero to Rubalcaba.


Reference:

Kennedy, P. T., 2012. Staring defeat in the face : the Spanish Socialist (PSOE) Government from Zapatero to Rubalcaba. Submitted to: De Waele, J. M., Escalona, F. and Vieira, M., eds. The State of Social Democracy in the European Union. Paris, France: Economica. (Comparative Politics)

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Abstract

The chapter charts the impact of the financial crisis on the Spanish Socialist Government. Under the leadership of Rodríguez Zapatero, the party underwent a significant process of ideological, programmatic and generational renewal which clearly differentiated it from its previous period in office under Felipe González. Whereas domestic policy in a number of areas, including civil and gender rights, historical memory, and constitutional affairs, was generally viewed as being innovative, economic policy was notable more for continuity than change as regards the policy implemented by the PSOE’s conservative Popular Party predecessor in government. Bequeathed a benign economic legacy, Zapatero eschewed innovation in the field of economic policy and was able to lead his party to a second successive general election victory in 2008 on the foundation of successive budget surpluses. The subsequent intensification of the financial crisis exposed the weaknesses of Spain’s economic growth model, which was largely based on the construction sector. Initially implementing a major fiscal stimulus package, the government was soon forced to put in place a tough austerity programme based on labour and pensions reforms. With his credibility undermined, Zapatero was replaced by Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba as the party’s candidate for prime minister at the general election called for 20th November 2011. The change in the PSOE’s leadership is unlikely to prevent a defeat and the party will do well to deny the Popular Party an overall majority at the polls.

Details

Item Type Book Sections
CreatorsKennedy, P. T.
EditorsDe Waele, J. M., Escalona, F. and Vieira, M.
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Politics Languages and International Studies
StatusSubmitted
ID Code25924

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