Partido Popular (Spain)

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Partido Popular
Logo PP 2019.png
Pablo Casado (julio 2018) (cropped2) .jpg
Party leader Pablo Casado
Secretary General Teodoro García Egea
Honorary Chairman José María Aznar
founding October 9, 1976 (Alianza Popular)
January 20, 1989 (Partido Popular)
Place of establishment Madrid
Headquarters C / Génova, 13, 70
28004 Madrid
Youth organization Nuevas Generaciones del Partido Popular (NNGG)
Alignment Christian Democracy
Economic Liberalism
Colours) blue
Spanish House of Representatives
Spanish Senate
Number of members 869,535 (2018, party
information ) 66,384 (2018, registered)
International connections Christian Democratic International
International Democratic Union
European party European People's Party (EPP)
EP Group European People's Party

The Spanish People's Party ( Spanish Partido Popular , PP for short ) is a conservative and Christian Democratic political party in Spain . It was renamed in 1989 from the right-wing conservative Alianza Popular (AP, "People's Alliance") founded in 1976 by Manuel Fraga Iribarne . The PP is a member of the European People's Party (EPP); their MEPs in the European Parliament are members of the EPP Group. The PP is also a member of the Christian Democratic International and the International Democratic Union .

Alianza Popular (1975-1988)

Manuel Fraga Iribarne in the time of the Transición (year unknown)

After Franco's death in 1975, under King Juan Carlos I, the process of transforming the Francoist dictatorship into a constitutional monarchy, the so-called Transición, began . In 1976, the formation of political parties was re-allowed in Spain. In that year a spectrum of parties from left to right emerged in Spain. While the parties on the left, some of which already existed under illegality, were legalized or newly founded, many smaller groups emerged on the right, including the Reforma Democrática , founded by the former minister under Franco Manuel Fraga Iribarne (1922–2012). Fraga was then Minister of the Interior and Vice- Prime Minister of the first government of Adolfo Suárez under King Juan Carlos I.

With the help of the Hanns Seidel Foundation , which is close to the CSU, Franz Josef Strauss actively supported the establishment of the Alianza Popular in order to bundle right-wing and right-wing conservative groups in Spain, which the CDU- close Konrad Adenauer Foundation, however, called "not an association worthy of support" was criticized and some members of the group also questioned whether they were Democrats. The CDU therefore refused to support the CSU and the Alianza Popular and relied on the more moderate and not too far-right Christian Democratic groups in Spain, which had come together to form the Equipo Demócrata Cristiano del Estado Español .

In the fall of 1976 Reforma Democrática , Unión del Pueblo Español , Acción Democrática Española , Democracia Social , Acción Regional , Unión Social Popular , Unión Nacional Española and a few small groups united to form the new right-wing conservative Alianza Popular (AP). Six of these seven parties were led by former ministers of the Franco dictatorship: Manuel Fraga Iribarne ( Reforma Democrática ), Cruz Martínez Esteruelas (1932-2010; Unión del Pueblo Español ), Federico Silva Muñoz (1923-2017; Acción Democrática Española ), Licinio de la Fuente de la Fuente (1923–2015; Democracia Social ), Laureano López Rodó (1920–2010; Acción Regional ) and Gonzalo Fernández de la Mora (1924–2002; Unión Nacional Española ). The Alianza Popular subsequently developed into a reservoir for the former elites of Franquism, but committed itself to the democratic reforms introduced by King Juan Carlos I.

  • In the first democratic parliamentary elections in 1977 , Alianza Popular only achieved 8.2%, which is generally attributed to the strong opposition of the population to the old Francoist elite.
  • In the 1979 elections , the party joined an electoral alliance formed with other right-wing conservative parties, the Coalición Democrática (CD); The top candidate was Fraga. In these elections the alliance received 6% of the vote and 10 seats in parliament.
  • In 1982 the people's alliance with the Democratic People's Party ( Partido Demócrata Popular ) and the Liberal Party ( Partido Liberal ) formed a new electoral alliance, the Coalición Popular . These elections resulted in a PSOE government and exacerbated the AP's crisis.

Partido Popular (1989 to date)

In January 1989, the Alianza Popular was renamed “Partido Popular” (PP) to cope with the crisis . The following year Fraga handed over the leadership of the party to José María Aznar . Like many of his political comrades, Aznar was also influenced by Franquism. He was a functionary in the Francoist student organization (FES) and during the period of the Transicion spoke out publicly against the transition to democracy. Aznar had already been Secretary General of Alianza Popular between 1982 and 1987 and then head of government of Castile and León from 1987 to 1989 .

The Partido Popular sees itself today as a Christian-conservative party, which, especially in the course of the 1990s, increasingly oriented itself towards the model of other Christian-democratic people's parties in Europe. Programmatically, the party shows (although in the legislative period 1996-2000 due to the majority structure that the toleration of the PP government by the Catalan party CiU , the Basque nationalists (PNV) and the Coalición Canaria , temporarily reserved) anti-regionalist and strong economically liberal profile and advocates deregulation and adherence to strict budgetary discipline. In terms of foreign policy - for example with regard to the Iraq war - until it lost the elections in March 2004, the party sought proximity to the course of American President George W. Bush .

José María Aznar (2003)

Reign (1996-2004)

In the early parliamentary elections on March 3, 1996, the PP became the strongest parliamentary group with 38.8% of the votes (156 members out of a total of 351), but did not achieve an absolute majority. With the help of a few smaller regionalist parties such as the Catalan Convergència i Unió (CiU), José María Aznar was elected Prime Minister of Spain on May 5, 1996 . He replaced Felipe González, who had ruled since 1982, from the Socialist Party ( PSOE ). In the parliamentary elections on March 12, 2000 , the PP was able to improve the election result of 1996 again with 45.2% and achieved the best result to date with 183 of the 350 seats in the House of Representatives. The government under José María Aznar was no longer dependent on the support of the regional parties.

In autumn 2002, the sinking of the oil tanker Prestige off the coast of Galicia resulted in poor crisis management by the PP government and a trivialization of the resulting environmental catastrophe. With its support for the US war in Iraq , the PP government again maneuvered itself into political sideline at the beginning of 2003, as the overwhelming majority of the Spanish population (including those among the PP voters) were against the war. Aznar's government took an active part in the political preparations for war despite nationwide mass demonstrations (see Iraq crisis 2003 ).

On November 20, 2002, the PP in the Spanish House of Commons endorsed for the first time a resolution condemning Franco's putsch in July 1936 and the Franco dictatorship . In August 2003 it became known that the Aznar government had supported the Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco , which sees its task in maintaining the memory of the dictator Francisco Franco , with substantial subsidies through the Ministry of Culture for several years.

Thanks to above-average economic growth, during the eight years of Aznar's reign, unemployment fell from 22% to 11%. The proceeds from the privatization of state-owned companies ( Repsol , Endesa , Telefónica , Iberia ) made it possible to reduce national debt and deficits. The rigorous austerity course of his government made it possible for Spain to join the European monetary union . The unions also did their part by giving new jobs over wage increases. During the reign of the Partido Popular under Aznar, Spain was also the largest net recipient of EU payments, criticized as growing at the expense of others. Even during Aznar's reign, observers warned that economic growth was all too one-sidedly based on a boom in the construction sector. This boom, which also continued under Aznar's socialist successor, Zapatero , ultimately turned out to be a real estate bubble and burst in the financial crisis from 2007 onwards . During Aznar's tenure, compulsory military service was suspended and a professional army was introduced.

Opposition (2004-2011)

In the Spanish parliamentary elections on March 14, 2004, Mariano Rajoy ran as the leading candidate of the People's Party for the office of Prime Minister after Aznar had declared that he did not want to run again. On March 11th, three days before the planned elections, the most devastating terrorist attack in Spanish history ( Madrid train attacks ), the originator of which was a radical Islamic splinter group. Spain was targeted by the Islamists because of the uncompromising support of the US-initiated Iraq war by the PP government. However, the PP decided in the official line on the authorship of the Basque terrorist organization ETA in order not to lose votes in the imminent elections because of the Iraq war support and the inadequate fight against terrorism. In the days leading up to the election there was a veritable disinformation campaign on the part of the PP with the aim of influencing public opinion regarding an ETA authorship. Spanish diplomats around the world were instructed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to only disseminate this version, and Interior Minister Angel Acebes disseminated all new information along with clear ETA accusations, to which, however, increasingly fewer people were receptive. Before the election, mass demonstrations and funeral marches took place across Spain, some of which were against the ETA, but increasingly against the government's disinformation policy. Voting under the impression of the events on the last three days before the election led to a clear electoral defeat for the People's Party, which had previously led in the majority of the polls with a seemingly impossible lead. The Spanish Socialists under their top candidate José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero recorded a clear lead; the turnout was significantly higher than expected. Although later there was no evidence of ETA involvement, the conspiracy thesis of a collaboration between ETA and al-Qaida was continued by the PP.

Political observers judge the opposition policy pursued by the PP since 2004 as largely shaped by a polemical style; it is largely based on a radical rejection of all government initiatives. In 2007, the main topics of the People's Party in the run-up to the upcoming elections were the fight against ETA, which has regained importance since the failure of the peace negotiations, and the defense of the unity of Spain and the monarchy as their symbol against one of the representatives of the PP as harmful and excessive considered regional autonomy. Inflation and the overall economic situation were also discussed.

The People's Party rejects an express condemnation of Franquism. In October 2007, the party in the Spanish parliament largely rejected the Ley de Memoria Histórica law, which prescribes the removal of symbols of the Franco dictatorship (Franco monuments, street names, etc.) from public life and the judgments from this period to be legal binding, but declared morally illegitimate. The reason given was that the law only serves to "reopen old wounds" and "divide Spanish society".

In the 2008 elections , the PP was able to improve its result and gained the most seats from all parties, but again lagged behind the PSOE, which was also able to gain seats. This led to a brief power struggle within the party, but party leader Mariano Rajoy was able to prevail. Various other prominent party members who had campaigned for a tough opposition course in previous years, such as General Secretary Ángel Acebes and parliamentary group spokesman Eduardo Zaplana , left active politics.

In 2009 the party was rocked by the Gürtel case , a major donation and kickback scandal in which, among others, the PP-led governments in the regions of Madrid and Valencia were involved. Proceedings for corruption are also pending against PP members and former members of the government in the Balearic Islands ; the former President of the Balearic Islands, Jaume Matas , who has since been expelled from the PP, was sentenced in March 2012 to six years in prison.

Government period (2011 - 2018)

In the 2011 parliamentary elections , the PP won an absolute majority of the seats (186 out of 350) under its top candidate Mariano Rajoy . In the 2015 parliamentary elections , the party lost its absolute majority and lost around 15 percentage points. After a government failed to be formed, new elections were scheduled for June 26, 2016 . In this election, the PP was again the strongest force with 33.03%. On October 29, 2016, Mariano Rajoy was re-elected Prime Minister as head of a minority government .

Because of the aforementioned illegal party financing between 1999 and 2009, the PP was sentenced to pay a fine of 245,000 euros in May 2018. Several former PP regional politicians and the former treasurer received long prison sentences. The chairman of the opposition Socialists (PSOE) , Pedro Sánchez , took the judgments as an opportunity for a vote of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy, with which his government was overthrown on June 1, 2018. Sánchez then became prime minister of a minority government led by the socialists .

Regional differences in meaning

The PP is represented in all the parliaments of the Autonomous Communities . In the Autonomous Communities Balearic Islands , Galicia , Cantabria , Castilla-La Mancha , Castilla y León , La Rioja , Madrid , Murcia and Valencia , they ruled as in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla by an absolute majority, in Aragon and Extremadura , the PP a minority government. It is in opposition in Andalusia , Asturias , the Basque Country, the Canaries , Catalonia and Navarre .

While the PP is one of the most important political parties alongside the PSOE in most regions, it is significantly weaker in two autonomous communities, which have a far-reaching need for autonomy and in which some parties advocate separation from the Spanish state PP in Catalonia and the Basque Country only ranks fourth in the party spectrum. The reason for this is that the party is strictly against the regionalist or separatist tendencies in these regions and pursues a line classified by critics as centralism or Spanish nationalism, which emphasizes the “unity and indivisibility of the Spanish nation”. One guideline of the PP policy is the uncompromising fight against the Basque terrorist organization ETA . The party is fundamentally opposed to the search for negotiated solutions to this conflict. She also calls for an automatic ban on all lists of candidates (with the exception of the small Aralar party ) who represent Basque left nationalist ( izquierda abertzale ) positions in elections and should therefore be viewed a priori as the successor party to the banned parties Batasuna, EHAK and ANV without reviewing the formal organizational structure.

In the "historical autonomous community" of Galicia , too , the PP governs with an absolute majority; this region has been one of its strongholds since it was founded.

In the Autonomous Community of Navarre , the PP had concluded an alliance with the regional party Unión del Pueblo Navarro (UPN) in 1982 , according to which both parties would stand together in elections and form factional communities; In 1991 the Navarres PP regional association was dissolved and merged with the UPN. However, due to disagreements between the two parties over the vote on the budget of the Zapatero government for 2009 (in which the PP voted no and the UPN abstained), the PP dissolved this alliance in October 2008 and established its own regional association. In the regional and local elections in 2011 , 7.3% of the vote was achieved.

In the Asturias region , a rift between the former general secretary of the PP and ministers in the cabinet of José María Aznar , Francisco Alvárez-Cascos Fernández , and the party leadership in the run-up to the regional and local elections in 2011 led to a split of several party members and the re-establishment of the party Foro de Ciudadanos and the Asturian regional association called Foro Asturias (FAC). The PP itself then lost around 21.5% of the votes in the regional elections and only got a share of 20%. FAC, on the other hand, won the election with 29.8%.

region Election day Share of votes (%) Seats Government participation
Andalusia 2nd December 2018 20.8 26 of 109
Aragon May 24, 2015 28.1 30 of 67
Asturias May 24, 2015 22.0 11 of 45
Balearic Islands May 24, 2015 29.1 20 of 59
Basque Country September 25, 2016 10.2 9 of 75
Extremadura May 24, 2015 37.5 28 of 65
Galicia September 25, 2016 47.6 41 of 75 absolute majority, sole government under Alberto Núñez Feijoo (PP)
Canaries May 24, 2015 18.9 12 of 60
Cantabria May 24, 2015 33.1 20 of 39 13 of 35
Castile-La Mancha May 24, 2015 38.1 16 of 33
Castile and León May 24, 2015 38.7 42 of 84 absolute majority, sole government under Juan Vicente Herrera Campo (PP)
Catalonia December 21, 2017 4.24 4 of 135
La Rioja May 24, 2015 39.3 15 of 33 relative majority, minority government under Pedro Sanz Alonso (PP)
Madrid May 4, 2021 44.7 65 of 136 relative majority, minority government under Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP)
Murcia May 24, 2015 38.0 22 of 45 relative majority, minority government under Pedro Antonio Sánchez (PP)
Navarre May 24, 2015 27.4 15 of 50
Valencia May 24, 2015 27.0 31 of 99
Autonomous city Election day Share of votes (%) Seats Government participation
Ceuta May 24, 2015 45.7 13 of 25 absolute majority, sole government under Juan Jesús Vivas (PP)
Melilla May 24, 2015 42.7 12 of 25 relative majority, minority government under Juan José Imbroda (PP)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Natalia Junquera: Pablo Casado vence en el congreso del PP y consuma el giro a la derecha. July 21, 2018, accessed July 21, 2018 (Spanish).
  2. Alarma en el PP por el desinterés de las bases en la elección del nuevo líder , El País of June 27, 2018
  3. Der Spiegel 13/1977: Kreuth international
  4. Friday March 31, 2000: A touch of imposture
  5. Telepolis : Prestige catastrophe - large demonstration and general strike of December 6, 2002.
  6. [El País]: Mayor Oreja se niega a condenar el franquismo y Acebes evita desautorizarle , October 16, 2007.
  7. Handelsblatt - balance sheet of the reign of Aznar
  8. Rafael Pampillón, economic expert at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) in Madrid
  9. Die Zeit 23/2001: The rich beggar .
  10. Telepolis : Debt for life in Spain
  11. Law 17/1999, of May 18
  12. ^ Spiegel-Online - acquittal in Madrid trial
  13. ^ Spiegel-Online - Terror Trial: Closing the line under the Madrid massacre
  14. Le Monde diplomatique : Franco's shadow - Zapatero seeks the way in Spain's future from April 13, 2007.
  15. Tages-Anzeiger : Spain wants to remove Franco symbols ( memento of October 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) of October 11, 2007.
  16. Palma Arena case: Ex-Prime Minister Matas sentenced to six years in prison on v. March 22, 2012
  17. España entrega al PP todo el poder. Retrieved November 21, 2011 (Spanish).
  18. Thomas Urban , Falsche Freunde , , May 27, 2018.
  19. See e.g. B. El País: , catalan / elpepunac / 20051019elpepinac_7 / Tes or
  20. ^ El Correo: Rajoy pide que se impugnen todas las listas presentadas por ANV