WHILE in Britain there is growing support for Tony Blair at his stance in Iraq, in Spain the country is still very much against the war and Jose Maria Aznar's Partido Popular risks a major backlash in the local elections in May. “Just what are we doing, backing a war in a far-away land,” appears to be the general consensus of opinion across Spain. Politically speaking in the Balearics it is now very unclear that the Partido Popular will win back the islands they lost to the so-called rainbow coalition in the last elections. The latest opinion polls forecast a further fall in support for the party in the Balearics. In fact it is more than likely that the coalition will be returned to power with an even greater majority. Aznar is certainly paying a price for his support for George W. Bush and in most circles his name has become a dirty word. What is becoming very clear now is that this is not going to be a quick war. The first casualty, who is already suffering, I suspect will be Aznar with his party facing a massive defeat in the regional elections in May and probably the general elections next year. Tony Blair and George W. Bush also cannot afford a long drawn-out conflict. Blair is still in a very difficult situation with much of his own party against the war. He also knows that even though his support is growing it can very easily go into reverse once again. As both Aznar, Blair and Bush have said these are difficult times. In the case of the European leaders they are both walking a tight-rope.


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