Global Politics

A political killing clouds Spanish election

Until today terrorism was not the top issue in the Spanish economy, everybody was talking about the slumping economy and immigration. But today a local Basque politician was shot dead before his wife and children. On hearing the news, Spain's two political parties abruptly ended their final political rallies but the politicking continues. The Socialist president of Spain condemned the shooting and promised swift reprisals and justice. From Spain's conservative camp, their presidential candidate accused the Socialist president of being too soft on ETA. He is trailing the Socialist president by just a few points in polls but the assassination today is likely to bolster his condition. The government considers ETA a terrorist organization and has been bracing for attacks by them and Islamic radicals as well. Those two threats have created a low level climate of anxiety in Spain and that anxiety may play into the Conservative Party's stance on immigration as well. Spain has 45 million residents and a decade ago that number was 35 million. A recent drop in housing sectors has sent unemployment up and tens of thousands of residents are applying to government assistance and most are immigrants. The Conservative candidate also wants immigrants to sign a controversial contract promising to adopt Spanish customs. Those views do resonate with many Spaniards especially as unemployment rises.

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