Monday, March 10, 2008

Socialists re-elected in Spain; radical Spanish librarian not happy

Congratulations to Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) on their triumph in yesterday's elections. The PSOE certainly has its share of problems, but Zapatero has done much since his election in 2004 to establish a more independent foreign policy and overcome the legacy of Franco's fascism and Catholic moral authoritarianism. So cheers to this good news.

An article in the New York Times on the election contained a couple of quotations from a radical Spanish librarian critiquing the PSOE's actions while in power that I found to be interesting:

In the upscale Madrid neighborhood of Salamanca, Gloria Perez, a 58-year-old librarian, said the poor economic performance of Mr. Zapatero’s government prompted her to shift her vote this time to the United Left, the main Communist Party, from the Socialists.

“Zapatero has not done enough to bring down the price of rents, control mortgage costs, help young people and get us workers better salaries,” Ms. Perez said. She added that she was not impressed by tax incentives offered by the two main parties, including the Socialists’ promise of a 400-euro tax rebate, about $620, for all taxpayers.

“What good is 400 euros going to do me?” she said. “That’s bread today, hunger tomorrow. We need reforms that will help us in the long term: better work contracts, better salaries, less inflation.”

While I would likely have been a PSOE supporter, I wish we had more like her among the ranks of American librarians, and especially in my union local.

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