Spain′s Zapatero will not run for re-election | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 03.04.2011
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Spain's Zapatero will not run for re-election

After months of speculation, Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced that he will not be running for re-election in 2012.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

Zapatero was elected prime minister in 2004

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced Saturday he will not seek a third term in 2012 elections.

"I will not be a candidate in the next general elections," Zapatero said in a televised speech to the party's federal assembly in Madrid.

The 50-year-old has led the country since 2004 but his popularity fell rapidly with the financial crisis and as a consequence of the drastic savings measures his government has put in place.

Down in the dumps

Unemployment stands at over 20 percent in Spain, the highest in Europe and among industrialized nations globally.

The Bank of Spain recently warned that growth would be slower than expected and that Spain would miss its budget deficit targets for both this year and for 2012.

His Socialist Party PSOE is expected to lose the upcoming elections.

The premier said that two terms of office was enough, adding that the decision was best for the party and for his family.

National elections are due to take place next March. Zapatero said he planned to stay on as premier until then.

Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, 59, is one likely candidate to succeed Zapatero as Socialist Party leader, but Defense Minister Carme Chacon, 40, who has quickly risen through the party ranks, also has strong support.

Author: Stuart Tiffen (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Nicole Goebel

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