Spain's two socialist parties formally merged on Sunday (30 April) at a rally in Madrid.?
Spain's two socialist parties formally merged on Sunday (30 April) at a rally in Madrid. The move is seen as an attempt to strengthen opposition to the centre-right government of Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez.
SYNOPSIS: About three thousand people attended the meeting in Madrid's Congress Hall to formalise the union between the Spanish Socialist Worker' Party, the main opposition group, and the smaller Popular Socialist Party. French socialist leader Francois Mitterrand was at the meeting to lend his blessing to the union. The new party will retain the name of its major partner, the Socialist Workers' Party.
Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soares, also attended and spoke in support of the merger. He said the union had made the socialists a real and viable alternative to the present government in Spain. He said: "We are going to work together to give new impulse to the construction of a socialist society in Europe."
Professor Enrique Tierno Galvan, who founded the Popular Socialist Party in 1954, was named president of the new party. He said the socialist would achieve their aims within Spain's d democratic institutions. Professor Tierno was installed as president amid chants of "Unity, Unity" from the assembled supporters. Professor Tierno, protect ed by his immense reputation, was one of the most outspoken critics of the Franco regime.
The Socialist Workers Party's secretary-general, Felipe Gonzales, remain the party leader. In a bitter attack on the government, which he accused of lacking policies, ideology and organisation, Senor Gonzales said the overwhelming majority of Spaniards would soon put the socialists in power. This would happen, he said, long before the right wing expected it. Previously, the two socialist parties had claimed a total of more than 230,000 members between them.