ASEP’s Indicators System
The economic and consumption indicators decline again, being the worst ones since the March 2004 elections. Satisfaction with the National Government receives again the lowest value since those elections (though there continues to be more satisfied than unsatisfied Rs). Vote estimate this month gives PP an advantage of two decimal points above PSOE, a difference which by itself is not significant, but which fully confirms the observed trend since June 2004, regarding the continuous loss of electoral support by PSOE. Physicians, the Constitution, The Crown and the European Union receive this month evaluations over 6 points, while the National Government receives an evaluation of 4.7 points and political parties 3.9 points, in a scale 0 to 10 points. Felipe González’s rating is this month, for the first time since the 2004 elections, higher than that of Rodriguez Zapatero, while Rajoy’s rating is higher than Aznar’s. ASEP’s Indicators System shows, at the end of 2005, a growing climate of unsatisfaction and pessimism regarding the economic and the political situation.
Evaluation of Government’s Ministers and PP leaders
Salience and evaluation of all 16 Ministers of the National Government have been measured. Three out of every four Spaniards give an opinion on Bon, and one out of two gives an opinion on Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, Moratinos, Solbes and Caldera. Bono is the best rated Minister (5.0 points), and all other Ministers are rated between 4.0 and 4.7 points. Zapatero, therefore, is also rated lower than Bono, but higher than the rest of its Ministers.
As for PP leaders, all of them (Acebes, Zaplana, Arenas, Aguirre, Ruiz Gallardón y Piqué) are known by three out of tour Spaniards, but their ratings are lower than 4 points except for Ruiz Gallardon, whose rating is 4.1 points, higher than Ministers like San Segundo and Trujillo.
Most important problems for Spain
Just as in July 2004, and January, February and March 2005, the most important problems for Spain, according to Spaniards’ opinions, are unemployment, terrorism, and housing. There is only some change from one month to the next with respect to the fourth most mentioned problem, which sometimes is pensions and other times, as now in December, is immigration.
National Government’s performances
All statements presented this month for Rs to show their agreement or disagreement are very controversial, with similar proportions showing agreement or disagreement with Government’s performance. Thus, public opinion is very controversial, but with certain prevalence of agreement, regarding: relations with Morocco, results of the Latin American summit in Salamanca, approval of the Law of Education, sale of ships and airplanes to Venezuela, decision to maintain Montilla as Industry Minister, and results of the Mediterranean summit in Barcelona. On the contrary, public opinion is very controversial, but with certain prevalence of disagreement, regarding: PSOE’s Government’s agreement with BNGA in Galitzia, grant of 150 millions euro to UGT labour union as compensation for properties seized during the Civil War, accepting to debate in Parliament the project for a new statute for Catalonia. But disagreement is much more clear regarding PSOE’s relation with the former Batasuna in the Basque Country (39% of Rs disagree with that relation, compared to only 16% who agree with it).
A quarter of Spaniards thinks that there is much corruption in Spain. And more corruption is perceived in political parties, banks, local governments and construction, while less corruption is perceived in the Armed Forces, Social Security and physicians. Besides, though two out of three Spaniards think that corruption in Spain is similar to that of other countries in the UE, 20% think that it is higher in Spain, and only 9% think it is lower.