Aznar: "Spain can only beat the crisis under the Popular Party"
Party convention aimed at presenting conservatives as future government
Former Prime Minister José Maria Aznar presented his party as the only one "capable of returning trust" to Spaniards, at the inauguration of the opposition Popular Party's national convention in Seville on Friday.
In the opening speech Aznar declared that "recovery will only come with the PP" with Mariano Rajoy at its head- should the party win the next general election, due in 2012. He hailed his chosen successor, Rajoy, as the "president this country needs" and likened Spain's current position with that when he came to power in 1996. "We left this country in a better position than we found it. The PSOE got a good inheritance and then ran it down," he said.
The PP Aznar accused José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's Socialist government of being incapable of combating the crisis and creating spurious debates to distract the public. "Spain does not need debates about 'should I stay or should I go,' and far less jokes like these earpieces [in reference to the multilingual interpreting service in the Senate]," he said. The conservative former leader also blamed the ruling Socialists for "destroying" Spain's decentralized governance model and accused Zapatero's government of fostering division.
The PP is billing the three-day congress, which comes just four months before local elections, as its most important event this year. Some 3,000 party members are attending the rally, where the party is presenting themselves as ready to govern.