Economic and political indicators are again this month somewhat more negative for the Government than last month’s. Consumer’s Sentiment Index loses one point, the Evaluation of the Economic Situation of Spain loses two points, and the evaluation of the personal situation (measured by the Optimism Index) loses two other points, so that the three indicators continue to be significantly below the equilibrium level, between 7 and 20 points below, the Evaluation of the Situation of the Spanish Economy being the most negative of the three indicators. Consumer Sentiment and Evaluation of the Economic Situation of Spain obtain the third lowest values during the last twelve months, but Personal Optimism is in its lowest value in the last year. Saving Propensity decreases four points this month, but the proportion of Savers decreases by five points. With regard to political indicators, Satisfaction with how Democracy works loses four points, while Satisfaction with the Government gains one point, though it is the second lowest value during the last twelve months. It must be remembered that this value was 152 (in a scale 0 to 200) in May 2004, and is now 113, that is, very close to the equilibrium level, in which those who feel satisfied match those who feel unsatisfied. Exposure to Information drops once more under the equilibrium level this month, after two months (October and September) in which exposure to information seemed to have increased. Regarding the image of institutions, this month’s ranking is the following: the Constitution (6.6 points in a scale 0 a 10 points), The Crown (6.2 points), the European Union (6.1), the Armed Forces (5.9), the UN (5.8), the National Government (5.1) and Banks (4.9 points in a scale 0 to 20 points). As for the ranking of public leaders, Prince Philip receives this month the highest evaluation (6.5 points in a scale 0 to 10 points), followed at great distance by Felipe Gonzalez (5.1 points), who continues to overcome Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (5.0), and by Gaspar Llamazares and Jose Montilla (3.7 in both cases), Artur Mas (3.5), Mariano Rajoy and Miquel Sebastian (3.4 in both cases), Javier Arenas (3.3), Josep Pique (3.1), Jose Mª Aznar and Eduardo Zaplana (3.0) and Carod Rovira (2.4 points in a scale 0 to 10). In summary, economic indicators maintain this month its tendency to go worst, but political indicators seem to have had a certain recovery that manifests itself in a slight greater Satisfaction with the Government, and a slight better evaluation of the Government and President Rodriguez Zapatero. This small recovery is transmitted also to vote estimate, so that this month the difference between PSOE and PP increases once more to almost 4 percent points, due among other reasons to the lower estimated abstention (2.5 points lower this month in comparison to last month’s, when the difference between PSOE and PP was only 1.3 percent points, and only 1.6 points more than in the last 2004 elections, confirming once more that the larger the abstention the lower the difference between PSOE and PP, and vice versa). (See ASEP/JDS’ monthly Indicator in this same page). Personal securityA great majority of 83% has not taken any measure to increase their personal security nor do they intend to take it. Only 3% of Rs say that they have installed passive alarms, 2% relies on private security systems, and 9% report that they plan to take measures in the future. 40% of Rs believe that Government’s policy to fight delinquency in general is mostly wrong or very wrong, while only 36% say that it is good or very good. Similarly, 38% believe that government's actions to fight organized crime and mafias is mostly wrong or very wrong, while 35% think it is rather appropriate or very appropriate. Policy against ETA’s terrorismSpaniards do not believe any more that Government’s policy to fight ETA is the right one, to the point that the percent difference between those who considered it right and those who considered it wrong has diminished from 15 per cent points in June to only 3 per cent points at present. Spaniards are very much divided regarding Government’s policy to fight ETA’s terrorism. The proportion of Rs who considered that policy was right in June was 46%, while now it is 41%. On the contrary, the proportion of those who thought that policy was wrong has increased in the same period from 31% to 38%, so that opinions are divided in two equal halves between those who perceive the policy to be right and those who think it is wrong. In addition, the 34% majority who believed in a final ceasefire has vanished to the point of being reduced to a modest 23% at present. In the opposite pole, there is now a majority of 34% who believe that this ceasefire will only serve for ETA to reorganize itself and start killing again whenever they think it appropriate, a proportion 7 points higher to the figure reported last June. The proportion who think that the cease fire will only last so as to obtain freedom for terrorist prisoners and to legalize Batasuna so that it can run in the next (regional and local) elections. In any case, that opinion represents already 21% of Rs, similar to the 23% who still believe that the ceasefire will be final. The proportion of those who think that ETA will surrender without the Government paying a political price has diminished from 15% to 10% at present. The proportion of those who believe that it will be the Government who will surrender accepting the main requirements from ETA has also diminished to 21%. As a consequence, the majority continues to believe that none of them will surrender and that each one of them will give in something, so that the proportion who thinks that way continues to be the same now than in June. On the other hand, 40% continue to buy PSOE’s argument according to which the PP does not want that PSOE benefits from finishing with ETA’s violence and that is why it does not collaborate with the Government. When the opposite thesis is considered, according to which the PSOE is ready to give the terrorist band ETA whatever is necessary in order to boast of having finished with their violence, only 25% share that explanation while 30% reject it. In summary, with respect to the strategy to finish with ETA’s violence, the proportion of those who are not in favour of negotiating with ETA and even make some concessions (like approaching their prisoners to the Basque Country and legalizing Batasuna) so that ETA dissolves and ceases their violence, has increased 7 percent points only last months in order to reach a level of 34%, reducing by four points the majority of 48% who consider that is better to negotiate. Image of politicians and political partiesPolitical party affiliation in Spain is almost non-existent (2%) and the proportion of non-party members nor declared sympathizers amounts to two thirds of the Spanish population 18 years and over (61%), duplicating the proportion of those who admit some sympathy for some political party (34%). 40% of Spaniards believe that the proportion of public officials who perform correctly their task is greater than those who do not. On the contrary, 39% believe that the proportion of those who do not perform correctly their task is greater than the proportion of those who do perform it correctly. 50% of Rs are satisfied with the present system to elect their political representatives, that is, they accept that political parties make the lists and that electors must choose the list of the party they like best, with all of its candidates. The electoral lawResults suggest that Rs are especially in agreement in that the electoral law should guarantee that the party that obtains more seats be the one that forms a government, no matter whether or not it achieves absolute or relative majority. A majority also agrees that parties should be allowed to make coalitions to rule only if they have announced it during the electoral campaign. These results are significant because they disclose a contradiction between public opinion expressed feelings and what actually happened in the recent regional elections in Catalonia, where CIU will not have the government in spite of the fact that it was the party that obtained the largest number of votes as well as the party that received the largest number of seas in Parliament. This explains the strong controversy generated by the statement that “any party alliance after an election should be allowed to form a government if their votes constitute a majority of seats, even if none of the parties in the coalition has been the most voted party”. 45% of Rs would reject a hypothetical agreement or pact between the two main major national parties, PSOE and PP, in order to rule jointly in Spain. Corruption in Spain90% of Spaniards consider that the level of corruption in Spain is large (62%) or very large (28%). On a scale in which “0” means “no corruption at all” and “10” expresses “extreme of very large corruption”, construction (7.9), town halls (7.4), big financial groups (7.2) appear clearly as the most corrupt sectors in Spanish society. They are, without any doubt, three groups with strong entrepreneurial links, since construction generally obtains its licences from the town halls, with the direct participation of big groups that finance their activities. Political parties (6.7) also suffer an important association with corruption, while other sectors and groups (regions, the State Administration, telecommunications, labour unions, Courts of Justice, trade and State Security Forces, though receiving evaluations over 5 points, are closer to the limits that differentiate corruption from no corruption. Health care (4.3 points) is the only sector where there seem not to exist any shadows of corruption according to public opinion. Through an open ended question, with no suggestion whatsoever to Rs, the “Malaya” scandal in Marbella is considered the most unacceptable case of corruption by 64% of all Rs.