ASEP’s Indicators System
Economic and consumer indicators continue under equilibrium level, suggesting dissatisfaction with the current, and pessimism about the future, situation. Political indicators, on the contrary, show great satisfaction with how democracy is working, and a lower but still high degree of satisfaction with Government’s performance. Vote estimate shows a participation rate almost one percent point lower than in March 14, and a difference of three percent points between PSOE and PP (almost one percent point lower than in March 14). Data shows a moderate upward trend in the evaluation of fixed institutions and downward trend in the evaluation of fixed political leaders.
Performance of the National Government
Some questions refer to Spaniards’ opinions regarding fourteen recent actions of the National Government. Only one of them received an absolute majority support of two thirds of Spaniards: the help given to the US on account of Katrina’s hurricane. Two other actions received majority support: measures taken to face the emergence of “salmonella” in food products, and the proposal to retire in advance public servants who request it. Public opinion is very divided regarding six other actions: authorization to regions to face the health system deficit through raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco, measures to face drought, actions related to the accident of a military helicopter in Afghanistan, the manner in which the Conference of Regional Presidents was called and the matters that were dealt with in it, negotiations with the Basque government to normalize political life in that region, and the incident in Roquetas where a citizen was killed in the premises of the Civil Guard. But most Spaniards disapprove Government’s performance regarding: negotiations with the tripartite government of Catalonia regarding the new Catalonian statute, the manner in which relations are being held with Batasuna and groups close to ETA, and its response to the fire in Guadalajara. More than half of respondents disapprove sending more troops to Afghanistan, and having granted Rafael Vera a permit to go to prison only to sleep.
Parliamentary Investigation Committees
Half the Spaniards believe that parliamentary investigation committees are, in general, little or not at all useful, but this opinion is even more critical and negative when the question is posed regarding the usefulness of three of those committees: one in Madrid’s Regional Assembly on account of the disloyalty of two PSOE deputies, another on account of the March 11 terrorist bombings, and a third one in the Castile-La Mancha Assembly regarding the fire in Guadalajara. In all three cases half the respondents or more think that the committees were little or not useful at all.
Sentences and Decisions of Justice Courts
Justice Courts do not escape criticisms from citizens. Questions have been asked regarding eight recent court sentences or decisions, and only in one case public opinion is clearly divided: the decision to admit to study the accusation against the leaders of PCTV on the basis of its supposed relationship with ETA. In all other cases public opinion is unfavourable to the judicial sentences: the decision to let free Rafael Díez Usabiaga, the decision to allow Rafael Vera to go to prison only to sleep, the decision to allow Mario Conde to go to prison only to sleep, the decision to allow cousins Albertos not to go to prison until they receive an answer to their request of pardon, the sentence that let free Farruquito after paying a fine, and the decision to let free on parole Luis Roldán in spite of not having returned the money he took.
The Supposed Negotiations of the National Government with ETA
Two of every three respondents answer that it is not very likely or not at all likely that ETA will do anything similar to what IRA has done abandoning violence and giving in their arms.
As for the possible concessions by the Government to ETA so that it gives up violence and gives in their arms, about 60% are very or quite against regrouping ETA prisoners in prisons in the Basque Counry and against freeing ETA prisoners who are gravely ill, and 70% are very or quite against freeing ETA prisoners who have no blood crimes.
Perception of Insecurity and its Causes
61% of Spaniards 18 years and over say that they feel at present in a world which is somewhat or very much more insecure than it was ten years ago. Besides, when thinking about things that might cause them some important fear, Spaniards mention above all the possibility of contracting some serious or incurable illness, an Islamic terrorist attack, an ETA terrorist attack, or a traffic motorcycle or car accident. And to the question of which of these things they think are more likely to happen to them within the next five years, those more mentioned were an Islamic terrorist attack and a traffic accident, contracting a serious or incurable illness, and an ETA terrorist attack.