ASEP’s Indicators System
This month’s economic and consumer indicators are the worst of the last twelve months, with the unsatisfied outnumbering the satisfied ones. Satisfaction with the Government falls eleven points in only one month, its worst result in the past twelve months (though there are still more satisfied than unsatisfied respondents). The difference in vote estimate between PSOE and PP is only 1.5 percent points, abstention rate being similar to that of March 11 elections. There is a slight increase in the evaluation of all political leaders except Zapatero, whose evaluation falls slightly and is matched by that of Felipe González (both being the most valued leaders). On the contrary, there is a slight reduction in the evaluation of all institutions except The Crown, which increases its evaluation and continues to be the most valued institution.
The Catalonian Statute
Only one out of every three Spaniards says to be very or somewhat informed about the content of the proposal for a new Catalonian statute. There is a majority opinion in agreement with the following statements: the discussion of the proposal for the new statute during the next months will provoke irreparable confrontations between Catalonia and the rest of Spain; the PSOE Government and PP should reach an agreement in order to reject the proposal for a new Catalonian statute; and the proposal for a new statute should be rejected in Spanish Parliament just as the Ibarretxe Project was rejected, without debating its content in detail. There is also a similarly wide and general disagreement with three other statements: the proposal for a new statute is fully constitutional; Catalonians have a right to have the statute they decide, and the rest of Spain should not have the power to prevent it; and Catalonia is a nation. As a matter of fact only 10% of Spaniards agree that Catalonia is a nation.
Considering the potential repercussion that the reform of the Catalonian statute might imply for changes in the structure of the State, data have confirmed that present Parliamentary Monarchy continues to be the structure preferred by two out of every three Spaniards, against 15% who would prefer a Parliamentary Republic and only 2% who would rather have a Presidential Republic.
The most plausible political consequences of the debate on the proposal for a new Catalonian statute, according to Spanish public opinion are “a severe political conflict between Catalonia and the rest of Spain”, “a State pact between PSOE and PP in order to reject the proposal”, “a strong cleavage within the PSOE that might even imply Rodríguez Zapatero’s resigning and his substitution by another socialist leader”, or “the decision of the Catalonian parliament to withdraw the proposal for the reform of the Catalonian statute from the Spanish Parliament in order to study it further”. 30% of Rs wish that the proposal for a new statute be fully rejected, another 20% wish that it be approved with many changes, another 11% wish that it be approved with few changes, and only 4% wish that it be approved with no changes at all, just as it is.
Performance of the National Government
This month Spaniards show a high degree of agreement with Government’s performances for which questions have been asked, and more specifically about the repatriation of sub-Saharan immigrants who entered massively Ceuta and Melilla, the surveillance on how Morocco is treating immigrants expelled from Spain, the present citizens’ security in cities, the invitation to all Latin American countries, even Cuba and Venezuela, to send a representation for the military parade on the National Holiday of Spain, last October 12th, and the prohibition to smoke in offices and public places starting next January 2006. Some agreement also exists regarding the construction of several wire fences in the borders of Ceuta and Melilla to prevent entrance by force of sub-Saharan immigrants from Morocco. But there is almost unanimous disagreement with the authorization to raise prices of gas and petrol, to the point that 83% of respondents show their disagreement with such authorization.
Spaniards’ Main Concerns
The three most mentioned concerns of Spaniards, according to this month’s survey are: “difficulties to make the salary last till the end of the month”, “the raise in the price of petrol”, and “a terrorist attack”. (These personal concerns should not be confused with the problems that are considered as most important for Spain at present, which according to recent ASEP’s surveys are unemployment, terrorism, housing and pensions).