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Rajoy calls PM's new plans to combat crisis "a leap in the dark"

Opposition leader goes on the attack after Zapatero's comments in EL PAÍS interview

Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party (PP) said that the prime minister's new proposals for overcoming the economic crisis, published in an EL PAÍS interview on Sunday, are "part of his leap in the dark."

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's announcement that he will meet with leaders of Spain's 25 largest companies to find ways to defuse the crisis was described by the conservative leader on Sunday as mistaken.

"This proposal sounds like a leap in the dark that could even be harmful to Spaniards. [Zapatero] can meet with whoever he wants, but it would be better if he did so with small- and medium- sized company heads and with self-employed entrepreneurs, because they are the victims of a ridiculous economic policy that has got us where we are now," said Rajoy at a rally in Barcelona.

In the interview, Zapatero said there are no further plans for spending cuts and defended his proposals for pension reform. He also talked about his new right-hand man, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, as well as Spain-Morocco relations in light of the recent conflict in Western Sahara, and of the possible end of ETA.