Monday night, the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Monday on a televised interview infront of 6.4 million Spaniards that he did not lie about the economic forecasts ahead before the March ’08 elections.
The allegations come at a time when governement expects GDP for 2009 to contract by 1.6 per cent. Severly contrasting with predictions made prior to the March ’08 elections, when the Socialist government, headed by Zapatero, forecasted a GDP growth of 3.1 per cent in ’08.
The main topics of questions posed to the Prime Minister related to the economic crisis as well as unemployment, which is predicted by the European Commission to hit 19 per cent this year in Spain.
One of the most surprising questions came from Rafael, a translator from Granada which asked the Prime Minister “Do you know how many innoncent Palestinians have been killed by Spanish Arms?”. The response: “Our arms were not used for that” was obviously rather slim and unsatisfying.
Another interesting question was raised by Mr. Sanchez when he asked: “Why has the government given money to Spanish banks but not to the citizens?”, to which the Prime Minister responded: “There have been no monetary gifts”, instead the measures taken simply provide financial backing to banking institutions in order to create lending to families and businessses.
Zapatero answers were mostly vague and general, repeatedly soliciting confidence, committment and conviction from the Spanish public in order to beat the current situation.