0

I feel very proud of the Spanish electorate and thankfully democracy is alive and well in this country. As I have said in this space before I was increasingly concerned at the way the Partido Popular were behaving. They were far too arrogant and they deserved their defeat. They tried to convince the Spanish public that ETA was to blame for the train bombings even though it was increasingly clear on Thursday night, just hours after the attacks, that it was the work of Arab extremists. Despite the fact that the outrage had been claimed twice by Al Qaeda and that ETA had denied their involvement the Partido Popular on Saturday were still keeping an open mind and were not closing the door on the ETA theory. But now it is the dawn of a new era in Spain. Spanish troops will be brought back from Iraq, President George Bush will be abandoned and Spain's traditional allies, France and Germany, will come back into the equation. I don't feel sorry for Aznar or his party. They effectively put this country in the firing line without preparing the general public for the possible consequences. Their arrogant disregard of public discontent resulted in their massive defeat. What does it mean for the Balearics? With a new socialist government in Madrid and a right-wing Balearic government I doubt that the central administration is going to be so liberal with its cash hand-outs. Among projects which are at risk is the controversial road building plan which was being financed by Madrid. We will have a new central government delegate and our President, Jaume Matas, will find that all his old friends are now sitting on the side of parliament once occupied by the socialists. As they say a day is a long time in politics and Spain has certainly shown that.