• Short Summary

    Spain's Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez, today (October 28) celebrates ten years in office, after transforming Spain from a fragile democracy to a modern Western nation.

  • Description

    Spain's Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez, today (October 28) celebrates ten years in office, after transforming Spain from a fragile democracy to a modern Western nation.

    Gonzalez led the Socialist Party to electoral victory in 1982, at a time when the country was facing severe economic hardship. He promised Congress firm rule and austerity to help the country's financial problems, but he also had many other important social and political issues to deal with.

    Spain was still coming to terms with democracy after decades of dictatorship under General Franco. Just a year before Gonzalez won the 1982 election, a military officer, Colonel Antonio Tejero failed in an attempted coup.

    Spain's membership of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was a major issue in Spain in the 1980s. After initially campaigning against Spain's involvement in NATO, Gonzalez later reversed his position and a referendum backed continuing membership of the alliance.

    Despite Spain's closer military links with other European nations, the issue of sovereignty over Gibraltar remains contentious. Under the premiership of Gonzalez, relations between Britain and Spain have improved, but the future status of the colony is still unresolved.

    At home, Gonzalez has also clashed with the influential Catholic Church. Despite opposition from the Church and Nobel peace prize winner Mother Teresa, Spain has liberalised its abortion laws, and is attempting to reduce the Church's control over education.

    Gonzalez completed Spain's integration into Europe in 1986, when the country joined the European Community. The landmark event was marred however by an increase in violence by the Basque separatist group ETA, whose campaign against rule from Madrid continues to claim the lives of civilians and soldiers.

    The Socialists' hold on power in Spain is shaky, with Gonzalez' party winning the 1989 election by just one seat. But, Gonzalez has continued to have a high profile, especially in the past two years, with Spain hosting a round of the Middle East Peace Conference, the Barcelona Olympics, and the Seville Expo.


  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6VFGQQRKKC4HK9OC8JABXLWHQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA6VFGQQRKKC4HK9OC8JABXLWHQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:05:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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