ASEP’s Indicators System
Economic and consumer indicators decrease again, being the worst in the last twelve months, so that unsatisfied respondents outnumber the satisfied ones. Satisfaction with the National Government has slightly increased with respect to October, but it is the second worst result in the last twelve months (though satisfied respondents continue to outnumber the unsatisfied ones). The difference in vote estimate between PSOE and PP is 2.4 per cent points, nine decimal points more than in September, but with an estimated abstention rate one point higher than in the elections of March 14, something that confirms that abstention is damaging to PSOE and benefits PP. The Constitution and The Crown are the two best rated institutions this month. And Felipe Gonzalez equals again the rating of Zapatero, though Prince Philip is 1.5 points above both of them, receiving a rating of 6.7 on a 0 to 10 points scale. ERC leader, Carod Rovira, receives the lowest rating this month, 2.8 points.
The Catalonian Statute
A majority of Spaniards continues to be not interested, and therefore uninformed, on the project to reform the Catalonian statute, according to ASEP’s November survey data. Only one third of Spaniards 18 years and over, as in October, answers to be somewhat or very informed on the project, while two thirds appear to be little or not at all informed.
The following conclusions may be derived from the degree of agreement or disagreement with several statements:
• First, a great and relatively balanced controversy of opinions is observed regarding whether or not PP is sincere when offering an agreement to PSOE in order to reform the project of statute that PSOE does not accept, but Spanish public opinion thinks in greater proportion that it is PSOE who is sincere when offering the agreement, and PP the one who does not accept it.
• Similarly, a very controversial and balanced opinion appears between those who think that PSOE is provoking twitch in Spanish life, while a great majority agrees that it is PP who is provoking twitch.
• About half the Spaniards, as in October, think that discussion of the project of statute is provoking irreparable confrontations between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.
• Though there is no consensus regarding how discussions on the statute will finish, a greater agreement is observed (39%) with the statement that “in the end a statute will be approved that will give a little more self-government to Catalonia, without producing any really important change”, but there is a majority disagreement regarding the possibility that the statute is approved so that “in practice it will be like becoming independent from Spain”, and regarding the possibility that the statute finally “will be rejected so that it is rewritten anew in Catalonia”.
• A majority of Spanish public opinion rejects the statement that “before the statute is really discussed since February 2006 onwards, President Zapatero will call early elections”.
• But there is an even more intense rejection (54%), like in October, with respect to the statement “Catalonia is a nation”, and only 15% agrees that it is a nation.
• On the contrary, a relative majority of 39% of respondents agree that “the PSOE government and PP should reach an agreement to reject the Catalonian project of statute”.
It is also interesting to note that the proportion of respondents who “wishes that the project of statute is completely rejected” (29%) is more than double the proportion that expects that it will be rejected”, and the proportion of respondents who “wish that it is approved without any modifications, such as it is” (8%), is also double that the proportion of those who believe that “it will be approved without any modifications”. However, the proportions of those who “wish that the statute is approved with many or few modifications” are significantly smaller than the proportions of those who “expect that it will be approved with many or few modifications”. To summarize, public opinion is not well informed about the Catalonian statute, but is mainly against it, though it lacks “doom-mongering” derived from its potential approval or rejection.
Performance of the National Government
A large majority of Spaniards approves measures to prevent and if necessary to fight the “birds flu”, as well as negotiations with transportation executives, fishermen, farmers and other groups about their claims based on the price of petrol, as well as with the decision to repatriate illegal immigrants to their countries of origin.
But public opinion is very divided (balance between those who approve and those who disapprove) with respect to the Project for a new law on education, the acceptance to allow the use of regional languages in the Senate, the project for a new law about universities, and with respect to the project for a new regulation of layoffs.
Recent Conflicts in France
There is a variety of opinions concerning recent violent conflicts that have taken place in France with respect to immigrants and descendents of immigrants that might reproduce themselves sin Spain. Though there is a slight predominance of those who think that it is very or somewhat likely that they might reproduce in Spain, similar proportions think that it is possible, or that is little or not at all possible that they might reproduce in Spain.
On the other hand, 70% of respondents believe that children and grand children of immigrants, who have been born in Spain and have Spanish nationality, generally have the same life opportunities that Spaniards of a similar educational or occupational level, though those who believe they have less opportunities predominate over those who think they have more.
Performence of State Security Forces
A large majority of Spaniards demand that Security Forces, like the Civil Guard and the National Police, act with greater authority and energy with respect to certain behaviours. Thus, about 70% of respondents wish that Security Forces would act with much more authority and energy towards “mafias” and organized crime, domestic violence, drugs distribution in “discos” and youth taverns. About 50% have the same opinion regarding illegal immigration and traffic violations. About one third of respondents require similar treatment towards squatters and violent strike pickets, strikes in public services and vagrants, though in all these cases the proportions who would wish somewhat more authority and energy than now raise the former proportions to levels above 50% of respondents.