Former Spanish Prime Minister harshly criticizes incumbent leader

José María Aznar during a meeting with young leaders in Chile in 2009

In a radio interview with the catholic radio station COPE on May 21st, 2020 former conservative Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, 67, in office from 1996 to 2004, harshly criticized incumbent successor Pedro Sánchez for crossing a red line. The socialist leader had just signed an agreement to undo the labor reform of February, 2012, with EH Bildu, a radical Basque separatist party. He needed its support for a fifth extension of the coronavirus state of alarm.

EH Bildu is led by Arnaldo Otegui, a convicted former member of ETA, the Basque terrorist organization that between 1968 and 2010 killed over 800 people in Spain. Consequently, Aznar called him and his followers “heirs of ETA”. This is an especially sensitive topic for Aznar who, between 1995 and 2001, escaped four assassination attempts unharmed. In the first of these, the German armor-plating of his official car’s saved his life, and in the later attempts he escaped unharmed due to the technical failures of rocket launchers provided by the Irish Republican Army.

“We are in the hands of an absolutely irresponsible person, accompanied by Chavistas (referring to supporters of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez), communists and separatists, and the results become more visible every day”, Aznar said. The total lack of common sense well could bring extremely grave economic, political and social consequences for Spanish society. He mentioned that long queues for food had reappeared, and that the middle class was being destroyed.

The still very active politician expressed his pessimistic view about the country’s economic future, quoting Pablo Hernández de Cos, governor of Spain´s Central Bank, who sees a situation of “maximum vulnerability” and predicted a possible contraction of more than 13%. This should be made very clear to all Spaniards as many of them are still not aware of the catastrophic outlook.

Aznar also believes that it is “really sad” that the European Union will certainly set conditions for helping out a Spanish government which it considers to be lacking in responsibility. The prestigious American rating agency Moody’s estimates that Spain will need at least 150 billion US dollars just to keep going…


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