Rajoy talks up economy as election looms
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has delivered his 2015 State of the Nation address to Parliament. The speech is particularly significant because this year Spain will be holding a general election sometime before 20th December this year.
Podemos (We Can), a new left-wing, soft Eurosceptic and anti-establishment political party formed in January 2014, which has modelled itself on the Greek SYRIZA is doing well in the opinion polls and claims to have around 350,000 members. Although the party does not have any parliamentarians, it does have five seats in the European Parliament and is now Spain’s second largest party.
Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias Turrión, is currently on 27.7% of the vote whilst Rajoy’s centre-right Partido Popular (People’s Party) is on 20.9% according to a recent poll published in El Pais.
In his speech the Prime Minister talked up the economic recovery saying “The state of the nation is that of a nation that has woken up from a nightmare, that has bailed itself out, recovered prestige, is attractive to investors, has reorganised how it works and is growing in terms of consumption and investment.” He pointed out that the economy was once more expanding to about two percent growth year-on-year and that it was likely to grow by 2.4% this year. The Prime Minister talked about creating three million jobs as the next big priority and expected half a million jobs to be created in 2015.
You can find the full text of the Prime Minister’s speech (in Spanish) here.