It's over -- the big election in Spain -- and the Socialist Party has won big. Not the absolute majority they were hoping for (176 of 350 diputados in parliament), but close. The Partido Popular got more than it deserved (increasing their representation from 148 to something over 150 -- votes are still being counted as I write this), but mainly its very clumsy and self-sabotaging campaign was more help to the Socialists than to themselves. My hunch is that the PP's most fearsome allies, ex-president José María Aznar and Cardinal Rouco, were so scary that they stimulated a lot of the undecided to go to the polls just to keep them out.
"Spain is breaking apart" cried PP leaders, as they tried to mobilize the rest of Spain against Catalonia. "The economy is collapsing" -- when Spain's growth rate is among the highest in Europe and half the PP's own mayors are in jail or in court for corruption. "Zapatero has reduced Spain to global irrelevance"-- as though standing in Bush's shadow (under Aznar) had made the country more important. "The Socialists are destroying the family" -- because they protect rights to abortion and homosexual marriage. And then, from the PP's allies in the Church, the terrible threat of "laicizing" Spain -- separating State from Church.
As an American president famously said, You can't fool all the people all the time.
More when we know more. As I said, they're still counting the votes at this moment, about 10:30 p.m. here in Spain.
La historia de ETA (El Mundo)
Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación (GAL) - Wikipedia