General elections called for November 20

Power behind the throne Alfredo Rubalcaba has decided that November 20th is the right day for General Elections in Spain, and sent out his lackey Zapatero to announce his decision earlier today. Spain loves date acronyms, so make a note of 20-N (20th of November) as the latest in the list.

Zapatero’s regime could have continued until late spring 2012, but he told reporters that this is the right date, as it means the new government will start on January 1st with a fresh slate.

The PSOE are somewhat worried about the possibility of losing big-style to the PP, even with the bounce in the polls attributed to the change in leader. ZP himself, who has just received planning permission for a large cortijo in Leon, says he is looking forwards to early retirement and won’t stand as any sort of candidate in these elections. I assume this is because he wants to grab his pension before the new rules mean he has to wait till he’s 67. I hope he hasn’t taken any shortcuts on his cortijo planning permission and is not just relying on the municipal building license… can you imagine him having to join AUAN?

Nothing in Spanish politics is transparent, and even the date of these elections have a double meaning – dictator Franco died on November 20th, which will allow a number of subliminal memories about the evils of the right to surface in the voters collective subconscience. ZP professed to be ignorant of this (ho ho ho), saying that the holidays in December meant elections had to be called on N-20 in order to allow the new Cabinet to start work on Jan 1st.

And, of course, 20-N will be the regional elections in Andalucía. We disenfranchised expats may be banned from entering the polling booth to decide our futures, but we can gossip and speculate along with the best of them.

The change in leader at the PSOE means that they have made up some ground at the national level- they were, only a couple of months ago, lagging up to 15 points behind the PP- but Griñán still seems to be heading for the exit. When he was appointed by Chaves to lead Andalucía, Griñán did promise to stand down at these elections in favour of another candidate -at the time, rumoured to be Minister of the Presidency Maria something or other- but this has gone quiet, especially after he had to put down a small rebellion in the ranks recently. Either way, the PSOE in Andalucia are still lagging around 25 points behind Javier Arenas and the PP, which would be a historic shift in power in the region. Seriously. Everything will change.

Hang on – Griñán has just said he’s breaking with tradition and hanging on, with fingernails snapping, until March. Oh, just go already. You and your corrupt cronies.

Meanwhile, if Rubalcaba -racist, doesn’t like foresteros, and recently gone almost Communist left-wing in anti-business rhetoric- gets in, I’ll be buying a small rubber boat from a shop on Mojacar playa and be paddling over to North Africa to look for a job. Avoid the rush, eh?

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