Category Archives: Elena Salgado

Obama fears Spain could be Eurozone’s next “big problem”

All eyes are on the economy again in Spainthis morning. The news that Greece may not have enough money left to pay public sector workers and pensions has caused panic in the markets.

Particularly badly affected was the Spanish Ibex stock exchange, which tumbled as Greece’s admission about their financial nightmare led to panic.

The flames of worry have been fanned somewhat by the President of the United States, Barack Obama (above), who has warned that the sovereign debt crisis in Spain poses a “great problem” to the Eurozone’s recovery. He rightly urged the Eurozone members to act fast to seek a common economic policy and deeper fiscal integration to deal with the sovereign debt crisis which threatens to spread to Spain and Italy. Obama also called on countries with a budget surplus to help those in crisis, an act which he believes will steady the markets and give them confidence.

The Spanish Government has so far refused to comment on President Obama’s remarks – Economic Minister Elena Salgado sidestepped questions by reporters this morning on the issue.

However, the PSOE’s presidential candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, appearing alongside Salgado, explained that Obama was simply urging Eurozone members to “stop the contagion”. He went further, suggesting that the key is to resolve the Greek problem and “isolate” that country to prevent contagion to the rest of the economies.

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Another one bites the dust – and Chavés has had enough

We noted earlier that serving ministers were jumping ship and not seeking reelection at an alarming rate. As we mentioned before, this emphasises how low morale is in the PSOE camp, and how unlikely victory seems even for those at the very top. It is also a very poor reflection on their belief in their own presidential candidate, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

Now the announcement of José Bono (left), the President of the Congress, that he will not seek reelection and his suggestion that the old guard of the PSOE should make way for a younger generation has finally made one of Rubalcaba’s loyal lieutenants flip his lid. Manuel Chavés, the current Third Vice President of the Government and President of the PSOE, has hit out at colleagues who are throwing in the towel for an easier life. “It is easy,” he said this afternoon, “to give up when a large hole has opened in the boat.”

“I believe that everyone is needed – including Mr Bono,” he continued. “I am the President of the Socialist Party and I have a responsibility; nobody in my party would understand if I were to give up now”.

Nobody, that is, except Bono…or Salgado…or Sebastián…etc…

More Ministers Abandon Rubalcaba and Seek Life Outside Politics

Opinion polls suggest that Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has a mountain to climb if he wants to ensure a third successive win for the PSOE at the general election in November.

He will hardly be encouraged, therefore, to hear that yet another of his ministerial colleagues has decided to abandon their political career and pursue other interests.

Both Elena Salgado, Economy Minister, and Miguel Sebastián, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism announced they would be retiring from front-line politics at the general election.

Then, Minister of Science and Innovation Cristina Garmendia announced last week that she plans to renter the private sector at the end of this legislative period.

And now Minister of Education, Ángel Gabilondo, has revealed that, contrary to rumours, he has declined Rubalcaba’s invitation to join the lists and contest a parliamentary seat inValencia.

The decisions of these ministers not to contest the next election is hardly a ringing endorsement or a vote of confidence for Rubalcaba. Rather it belies a tired and outdated party, and shows how little the Socialists themselves – even those at the helm – believe in victory.