Two versions of the Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero story, Fox and Bloomberg, choose for yourselves.
BTW: anyone out there help me: what is the Blair/Labour Government official position right now on the UN and troop withdrawal? Just to put this in some sort of perspective.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose Socialist party won Spain’s general elections, said Monday that he will recall Spain’s 1,300 peacekeeping troops in Iraq by June 30.
Zapatero had pledged this during his election campaign, which crystalized Spaniards opposition to last year’s U.S.-led invasion of the Middle East country, ostensibly to search for weapons of mass destruction, which have not been found.
Source: Fox News
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose Socialist Party unexpectedly won Spain’s election yesterday, plans to broaden his country’s fight against terrorism as the government said it has evidence pointing to al-Qaeda as the perpetrator of the Thursday bombings in Madrid.
Last week’s bombings killed 200 people in a country where terrorism had been mostly limited to the Basque nationalist group ETA. The attacks threw into question the security of Spanish citizens and raised concerns that tourism, which makes up 12 percent of gross domestic product, may suffer.
“My top priority is fighting all forms of terrorism,” Zapatero, a 43-year-old lawyer, said in his victory speech yesterday at party headquarters in Madrid. “My first initiative will be seeking the political support to focus all our resources in this direction.”
Zapatero, like the defeated Mariano Rajoy, 48, of the Popular Party, pledged to cut taxes to sustain the economy after a decade of growth. The Popular Party under Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar cut income taxes twice since 1996 and expects the economy to grow 3 percent a year through 2007.
Zapatero’s economic policies include a mixture of tax cuts and increases. He aims to cut tax rates for businesses and change tax policy so that about 7 million fewer people will pay taxes. The party also says it will stop taxing capital gains below a certain level but increase it on large investments. And Zapatero plans to raise taxes on tobacco and liquor.
Zapatero opposed Spain’s involvement in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and says he will pull Spain’s 1,300 soldiers out of Iraq unless the United Nations gives a mandate requesting their presence.
“The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster,” he told Spain’s Cadena Ser radio station today, according to his Socialist party’s press office.
Zapatero probably will pull away from the U.S. and forge deeper ties with France and Germany, said Luis Benguerel, who helps manage the equivalent of about $80 million in European stocks at Interbrokers in Barcelona.
According to the BBC world service what he actually said went as follows:
“El m?ximo dirigente del PSOE asegur? que las tropas de Espa?a saldr?n de Irak antes de finales de junio si la ONU no se hace cargo de la situaci?n.”
For those who don’t speak spanish, he qualifies the statement with “if the UN do not take responsibility for the situation”. You can then read this as you want, which is probably the intention. Really at the moment he is not commiting himself to anything. This is obvious, he has still to negotiate and form a government. He has no majority in the parliament.