How bad were the results of regional and local elections for Prime Minister Zapatero? A radical separatist party beat the socialists in Basque country.
But Zapatero has ruled out an early general election, no doubt because he would lose in a landslide. BBC reports:
Voting took place amid mass protests against high unemployment and the government's handling of the economy.
Young demonstrators holding sit-ins in Madrid and other cities said rallies would continue for another week.
Mr Zapatero said three years of economic crisis had taken their toll.
"It destroyed thousands of jobs. It is a crisis that had profound effects on citizens' morale. I know that many Spaniards suffer great hardship and fear for their futures," he said.
"Today, without doubt, they expressed their discontent," he added.
However, he vowed to pursue job-creating reforms until the end of his mandate. A general election must be held by March of next year. He has already said he will not stand for re-election.
The center-right Popular Party won 2 million more votes than the socialists. With unemployment at 21% (45% for those under 25) the country teeters on the abyss of bankruptcy. Protests against the incompetence of the Zapatero government are going on across the country. It remains to be seen whether the Spanish PM can resist the calls for new elections where he would almost certainly lose.
Steve McCann adds:
It has always been assumed that Spain was at heart a rock-ribbed socialist nation, and with one exception when the Popular Party was in office on a national basis from 1996-2004, that factor is generally true as the regional power has consistently stayed in the hands of the socialists.
These regional elections are somewhat akin to the 2010 mid-term election in the United States insofar as their importance and message. The socialist tide in Europe has begun major ebb as more and more countries and their citizenry awaken to the brutal message that they have run out of other people's money.
Here in America, President Obama, the Democrats and their sycophants in the media are attempting to instill the notion that: 1) Obama is virtually unbeatable as compared to the current line-up of Republican candidates and 2) that the American people really prefer to keep social and other spending in place regardless of the financial landscape.
This tactic is solely an attempt to weaken the opposition and spread depression by deflating enthusiasm as to a potential conservative victory in November 2012. Do not fall for it; it is the strategy of those who are faced with defeat.
The people of Spain have awakened as are the Americans. No amount of demagoguery or outright deception will succeed again. There is indeed a grass-roots (or Tea Party) revolt brewing throughout much of the world.