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"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

Local elections PDF
Monday, 23 May 2011 08:30

The socialists (PSOE) took a beating in yesterday’s local elections. Not surprisingly, the party of national government, led by prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, suffered heavy losses throughout Spain, reflecting the people’s disillusionment with the socialist regime of the last seven years.

Overall, PSOE lost 2,262 councillors while the Conservative Partido Popular (PP) gained 3,151. However, while PSOE’s percentage share of the vote plummeted by eight percentage points, the PP only increased theirs by one and a half points, showing that the electorate is still mistrusting of the party led by Manuel Rajoy.

In the Serranía de Ronda the socialists lost ground nearly everywhere and several councils have “changed hands”.

The main beneficiaries were the independent parties.  The Conservative Partido Popular (PP) did less well than they would have hoped in traditionally left-wing rural Andalucía.

In the Guadiaro valley, where we live, there are new mayors in Montejaque, Benaoján and Cortes de la Frontera, while the mayor of Ronda, Antonio María Marín Lara, survived by the skin of his teeth a strong bid to oust him by PP’s Maripaz Fernández - just 175 votes!

In the villages of the valley there was no real pattern, however. The socialists suffered badly in Benaoján and Cortes de la Frontera and lost control of Montejaque. The Partido Andalucista (PA) made great strides in Cortes but lost seats in Ronda. They didn’t put up any candidates in the other villages. Jimera de Líbar remained firmly in the hands of the Conservatives. Montejaque was won by the independent Agrupación Democrática Independiente de Andalucía (ADIA) following a strong campaign and a hefty manifesto for change.

Where these results leave Zapatero’s national government remains to be seen. The voters have definitely given him the thumbs down, but Rajoy and the PP will be less than pleased at their showing in the polls.


© Paul Whitelock


Tags:  Local elections, Spain, socialists, conservatives, independents, PSOE, PP, PA, ADIA, prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Manuel Rajoy, Serrania de Ronda, Guadiaro valley, Montejaque, Benaoján, Ronda, Antonio María Marín Lara, Cortes de la Frontera, Jimera de Líbar, paul whitelock,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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