European Socialists To Join Forces for Elections | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 01.12.2008
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European Socialists To Join Forces for Elections

Leading European socialists and Social Democrats met in Madrid on Monday to discuss the first common program for the group in European elections and to advocate for greater government intervention in the economy.

PES logo

PES includes 46 socialist or Social Democratic parties

The ongoing economic crisis demonstrated the failure of the "economy of egoism" advocated by conservative parties, Spanish Socialist Party deputy leader Jose Blanco told the council of the Party of European Socialists in Madrid.

Spanish politician Jose Blanco standing at a podium while a screen reflects him speaking in the background

Jose Blanco said the failure of the "economy of egoism" meant a win for socialists in 2009

Some 30 leading politicians, including Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and recently elected French Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry, were to discuss the first common program of socialists and Social Democrats for European elections.

The socialists would win the 2009 elections, because citizens had understood that "governments are the solution," Blanco said.

The council was due to issue a manifesto as a basis for a joint program linking social and economic efficiency and stressing long-term sustainability through the fight against poverty and global warming.

Group "spiritually related" to US Democrats

Martin Schulz, head of the social democratic group in the European Parliament, described "the message of George Bush," the outgoing US president, as having failed politically as well as economically.

Steinmeier with an SPD logo on the left

Steinmeier also hopes to become German chancellor next year

German Foreign Minister and Social Democratic candidate for the chancellorship in the September 2009 elections, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said the presence of a US Democratic Party delegation at the meeting was a "clear sign" of president-elect Barack Obama's party wanting to cooperate with European socialists, with whom the Democrats were "spiritually related."

Schulz said he did not exclude the idea of US Democrats joining the Socialist International, the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties.

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