By Jason Moore

PRIME Minister Rodriguez Zapatero should do the honourable thing and call an early general election after his socialist party suffered a major defeat in the local elections on Sunday. The centre-right Partido Popular were the overall winners taking thousands of council seats away from their left-wing counterparts up and down the country.

It has left Zapatero in a terrible position and many are already speculating that he could call an election before the end of the year. The socialists in the Balearics have blamed Zapatero for their defeat. With record high unemployment and no sign of an end to the recession the socialists face almost certain defeat in the general election. Many believe that until Zapatero is ejected the Spanish economy will not start to recover. Spaniards are blaming the Prime Minister for all of Spain´s ills. In some ways this is rather unfair because Zapatero has won praise for trying to steer Spain out of recession. But not in Spain. What the socialists have been unable to do in Spain is to convince the electorate that the origins of the recession which continues to dog Spain can be traced to the other side of the Atlantic and the start of the credit crunch. In the Balearics the socialis vote nose-dived. The general consensus of opinion is that the Partido Popular can get Spain out of recession. Only time will tell whether the electorate were right or wrong but after seven years of socialist rule Spain is turning to the right again.