A Tale of Two Countries (1983-1993)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Kurt_Steiner, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: 1. El Cambio

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    1. El Cambio


    As we have seen in the previous book, by 1983 UCD, the party that had held the government for the last six years, was utterly exhausted and involved in a deep crisis while the PSOE seemed to bring the bright promise of a new beginning. A new era was there.

    Under the motto Por el cambio (For the change), Felipe Gonzalez achieved an impressive victory that caught by surprise even to his most loyal followers. Also, to the astonishment of many, Landelino Lavilla managed to keep UCD as the second political force of Spain, even if this "sweet" defeat, in the end, was to cause his eventual downfall. AN suffered a bitter defeat, as Fraga had stated too eagerly too many times that victory was there to be taken, that 1983 was to be their year... and then lost a third of its voters while Lavilla stood his ground; as a result of it, a few months later Fraga was forced to resign and then replaced by José María de Areilza, who renamed the party as Alianza Popular (AP - Popular Alliance). Another looser was Carrillo, as the Communist party lost half of its voters. Reduced to be a nothingness on the political arena, the PCE was to begin a long crisis that would start when Santiago Carillo resigned after the elections and was replaced by Gerardo Iglesias and that was to last until 1988.

    The bi-partisanship that had been working since the first elections was over. The PSOE, with the suport of the PNV, had a majority govern. Furthermore, Spain was ruled by a political party that had nothing to do with the Francoist regime. Thus, with his control of the Parliament and the difficult situation of UCD and the weakness of AN, Felipe González was ready to rebuild the country as he wished, to the joy of half of the country and to the fear of the other half.

    PSOE (González) - 8 555 458 votes - 48.11 %, 174 seats (+3,972,777 votes, + 63 seats)
    UCD (Lavilla) - 5 047 141 votes - 26.36 % - 103 seats (-599,496 votes, - 53 seats)
    AN (Fraga) - 684,048 votes - 6.77 % - 11 seats (-386,470 votes, - 7 seats)
    PNV (Garaikoetxea) - 395.656 votes - 1,88 %- 8 seats (+99,059 votes, no seat change)
    PCE (Carrillo) - 846,515 votes - 4,02 %, 4 seats (-761,375 votes, -3 seats)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: 2. Changing to not change.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    2. Changing to not change.

    Facing the ongoing crisis, Felipe González kept the economic reform that began with the first Acuerdo Nacional de Empleo of 1981, with a positive result: from an inflation ratio of 12,22% in 1983, by 1987 it had fallen to 5,12% (1). Howeer, the unexployment was to remain a deep trouble for González and his ministers, as it skyrocketed from 17.09% in 1983 to to 21.11% in 1987 (2), and it would only begin to fall in 1988 to 20.49%.

    The new macroeconomic and political stability resulted in a second "economic miracle" (the first one was the 1959-1973) and the "reconversión industrial" went on thanks to the solid parliamentary majority in both houses of the Cortes (Spanish Parliament) that allowed González to undertake unpopular austerity measures that UCD had not dared to take, as the industrial reconversion program, which helped to shape social security system into better balance, and introduced a more efficient energy-use policy, even at the cost of a sharp increase in strikes and popular unrest which woud explode in the General Strike of 1985, which was extremely bad in the lands of the former Spanish Republic, where the PSOE had fallen under heavy criticism for his policies.

    The Spanish economy wouold expand under the Socialist efforts to modernize and to expand it, helped with the continuing fall in oil prices, increased tourism, and a massive foreign investment. Thus, even when Spain joined the European Economic Community (EEC) and had to face the strong foreign competition in accordance with EEC requirements, the Spanish economy underwent a rapid expansion.

    Furthermore, the Socialist government tried to solve the "military question" with the "Ley Orgánica de la Defensa y Organización Militar" (Defence and Military Organization Bill) of 1984, which managed to put the Armed Forces under the control of the government with the creation of the Estado Mayor de la Defensa (General Staff), while beginning also its modernization and reducing the compulsory military service from 15 months to 12 with the bill of 1984.

    However, there was also the reform of the educational system, ending the local governments process, and, above all, ETA.

    (1) 6.03% IOTL
    (2) 19.07% IOTL.
     
  3. Threadmarks: 3. Changing not to change (II)

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    3. Changing not to change (II)


    The Ley Orgánica reguladores del Derecho a la Educación (The Education's Rights Bill) of july 1985 introduced the charer school system in Spain, but let the Francoist Ley General de Educación (General Education Bill) of 1970 in place in the whole of Spain, but for the former Republican regions, which kept their own educational system until the Ley de Ordenación General del Sistema Educativo (LOGSE - The Comprehensive Management of the Education Bill) of 1990, which was applied all over Spain and that was to become a bone of contention between PSOE and UCD.

    While the GRAPO seemed to fade away after his peace proposal to González in 1983 (1), ETA kept its murderous spree, increasing its pace and focusing on the security forces, starting what it would become its more bloody period. Between 1983 and 1987, ETA claimed 178 deaths, among them Enrique Casas, a Socialist senator, murdered on February 23, 1984; and five children (3). Ironically, the "finest" hour of ETA was to signal the beginning of its end and would lead to the Madrid Pact (1987), where PSOE, UCD, AP, PNV, PCE and EE would sign a declaration demanding ETA to stop its violence and to follow the democratic ways.

    Furhtermore, another step in that direction was taken with the creation, in 1986, of a pacifist platform called Gesto por la Paz (A Gesture for Peace). Its aim was to push for a broad understanding between the political parties in the Basque Country, its citizens, and the rest of Spanish society to find ways to put an end to the violence.

    And in this period the first stage of local governments process came to and end when the Spanish Parliament voted the autonomous status for Extremadura, the Ballearic Islands, Madrid and Castille-Leon in February 1983.


    (1) 1982 IOTL
    (2) 196 IOTL
    (3) I've butterflied some deaths and, of course, the Hipercor massacre of 1987. I suppose that ETA would try something like Hipercor elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  4. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    Next stop: Catalonia.
     
  5. Bob Gump Well-Known Member

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    Good work! Keep going on!
     
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  6. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    Thanks for your support! I'm afraid that my "chapters" are too brief... well, I'll try to do something about it. Next installment will show it, I hope.




    BTW. To all readers.

    I've included a link to the first part of this alternative history of Spain in the first post of this thread.
     
  7. Threadmarks: 4. Phyrric victory, but victory in the end

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    4. Phyrric victory, but victory in the end

    The Banca Catalana affair cut short Jordi Pujol's political career. Forced to call for General Elections, he ended up resigning and being replaced by Miquel Roca, who became the candidate of the Partit de Centre de Catalunya (PCC - Center Party of Catalonia). Apparently a low-profile figure, it was feared that Roca lacked the charm of Pujol. This was even worse as the Partit Socialista de Catalunya (PSC - Catalan Socialist Party) had a new leader, too, Raimon Obiols, that the Socialist propaganda was rising into almost Kennedian levels. Obiols also took the PSC even further into natioanlist positions. However, as it has been said, his lack of charm and of a connection with the voters was to impair his whole political career.

    A change of guard took place also in Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC - Democratic Union for Catalonia) when Anton Canellas resigned after his two failed bids for the Generalitat and was replaced by Eduard Punset, who gave a new style and a new hope for the center-right formation, that had suffered several splits since the last elections when part of its members defected to join the PCC.
    One of the new elements of the Elections of 1983 was the bilingual coverage of the campaign by TV3 (later on TVC - Television of Catalunya; Catalonia Channel), as the Catalan independence and the reforms of Pujol had reduced the two other TV channels (mainly in Spanish) to nothingness, as they were no longer the main state channels of Catalonia after being replaced in that function by TV3. In 1990, Catalonia would also have two free-to-air television channels, Tele 5 and Canal +.​

    As it was feared, Roca could not replace Pujol, even if he achieved good results, too. Obiols, on his part, in spite of his brilliant campaign, did not manage to swing the whole country in his favour, even if he came on top at the end of the day; UDC also kept its ground, as did ERC, while the PSUC suffered another terrible defeat in spite of the change introduced by its new leader, Francisco Frutos, who resigned too and was replaced by Antoni Gutierrez Díaz. The old Communist party was, apparently, on the verge of a total extinction.

    PSC (Obiols) - 866 281 votes - 30.11 % - 41 seats (+190,564 votes + 6 seats)
    PCC (Roca) - 772,726 votes - 28.13 % - 35 seats (+15,688 votes, -2 seat)
    ERC (Barrera) - 526.943 votes - 21,86 % - 33 seats (+19,810 votes, +2 seats)
    UDC (Punset) - 321 601 votes - 15.70 % - 20 seats (-64,679 votes, +2 seats)
    PSUC (Frutos)- 160 581 votes - 5.58 % - 6 seats (-130,710 votes, -7 seats)

    Obiols, nevertheless, was forced to form a minority Socialist government, because he was unable to persuade ERC to form a coalition with the PSC and the PSUC.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  8. Threadmarks: 5. A very Social(ist) Catalonia

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    5. A very Social(ist) Catalonia

    One of the key issues of Obiols' tenure was the referendum on Catalan membership of the European Community. In July 1983 Obiols send a request to join the EEC, that approved on November 1984 to begin the admission process that would finally end in January 1986. The other success of Obiols was when Barcelona was selected in October 1986 to held the Olympic Games of 1992, even if he was no longer, by then, the third president of the Republic of Catalonia.

    The Socialist government made a major commitment to the expansion of the Catalan welfare state by increasing the public spending on education, and health; however, this meant a raise in taxes, that fell mainly on the rich. The budget came into law in May 1983. Nevertheless, the rise in the unemployment rate to 20.2% (1), which meant that 100,000 Catalans were unemployed, put Obiols's government under fire.

    Furthermore, under Obiols' tenure started a border conflict with Spain, which began by the end of 1984 when angered Catalan farmers set up roadblocks on the Spanish borders to stop lorries carrying foodstuff from entering the country in their protest against falling food prices. This problem was to reach its peak by 1985, when both sides threatened to deploy their armies to protect their citizens. This would be solved by the Vitoria Agreement of October 1985.

    Leading a minority goverment meant that Obiols was forced to make deals with other parties to survive, but the endless trouble of the unemployment went on, reaching a terrible 26.6% by early 1986 even if a mild economic growth had started in 1985. Then Obiols abandoned his progressive policies and adopted deflationary policies to reduce inflation, and cutting public expenditure as well. This led to a succession of strikes in the early months of 1986, and Obiols' popularity plummeted. Then, Roca moved for the kill and presented a vote of no confidence in April 1986, which Obiols managed to win by a vote. Nevertheless, he saw the writting in the wall and called for elections that were to be held on June 1986.

    (1) 16.2 % IOTL
     
  9. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    In the next chapter, Spain will be back...
     
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  10. Threadmarks: 6. Voyage, voyage

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    6. Voyage, voyage

    1987 saw the end of the reform process that UCD had undergone. Joaquin Garrigues Walker had used the time to bring unity to the party after the defection of the bulk of the socialdemocrats to the PSOE and to gather more support, mainly from the CEOE, while incorporating new figures to the party, as the center-right politician Tomás Caballero, the liberals Gabriel Elorriaga and Ricardo de Cospedal, who had a daughter, Maria Dolores, who would play an important role in UCD during the 1990s. Furthermore, Florentino Pérez, who had been part of the Madrid city council from 1976 to 1979 and then in the Ministries of Transport (1980-1981) and of Agriculture (1981-1982), rose to the first ranks fo the party, even if he would quit UCD in 1989.

    Garrigues Walker would also promote Jaime Mayor Oreja, the nephew of Marcelino Oreja, the former Foreign Minister, to the leardership of the Basque section of UCD and the centrist candidate to become lehendakari. Another new face was José María Álvarez del Manzano, the new leader of UCD in Madrid, with José Ignacio Wert as his right hand, to replace Iñigo Cavero, who withdrew from politics later that year, at the same time that Oscal Alzaga did.

    Meawnhile, in the Basque Country, Carlos Garaikoetxea, the first lehendakari of the reunited Spain, had left the PNV in 1985 for his conflicts with the right-wingof the party, returned in 1987 with a new party, Eusko Alkartasuna (EA - Basque Solidarity), a social-democratic pro-independence formation of the Basque Country.

    Felipe González was beginning to have troubles also. His politics were not only the source of strikes, but, as we have seen, of internal and external criticism in the lands of former Republic, were there where even small defections of some Socialist petty leaders to the PCE. Worse of all, Pablo Castellano, Nicolás Redondo and Antón Saracíbar were not only the most open critics of González, but also the undeclared leaders of what looked as a schism within the PSOE. This criticism and desunion were to be an important factor in the General Elections of 1987.
     
  11. Threadmarks: 7. In the army, now

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    7. In the army, now

    In March 1987 Felipe González achieved one of his most important victories. After bitterly opposing that Spain joined the NATO, now González asked the Spanairds to votes "yes" to join it. However, Spain was not to join the military structure of the NATO, no nuclear warheads were to be stored in Spain and the US military presence was to be strongly reduce. Reluctanly supported by the CDS and AP and bitterly opposed by the PCE of Iglesias, the "yes" option ended winning (53,69% "yes" vs 35,98% "no") -1-.

    Reinforced from the referendum result, González sought to take advantage of the favorable political situation and advanced the elections from November to June. However, the "betrayal" of the PSOE was not taken lightly by the Leftish voters and the PSOE suffered a bitter defeat in Aragon, Valencia and Andalucia.

    PSOE (González) 7,071,718 votes - 44.06%- 155 seats (-526,260 votes, -19 seats)
    UCD (Garrigues Walker) - 5,248,677 votes - 25,97% - 101 seats (+201,536 votes, +2 seats)
    AN (Areilza) - 1,560,912 votes - 9.22% - 14 seats (+1,276,934 votes, + 3 seats)
    PCE (Iglesias) - 1,496,575 votes - 4,02 %, 20 seats (+650,060 votes, +16 seats)
    PNV (Garaikoetxea) - 309,610 votes - 1,53% - 6 seats (-94,964 votes, -2 seats)

    González was forced to pact with Iglesias, who, nevertheless, pointed out that he was signing a pact to grant the stability of the Spanish government, but not a "blank cheque". Thus, it was felt, González would to be forced to turn to the left if he wanted to remain in la Moncloa. On the opposition benches, Garrigues Walker was disappointed as his reform of UCD had not given the resulted he had hoped for. Areilza, of course, was more than happy with the recovery that his party had experimented and felt vindicated by the results. However, he was 76 years old and, as the political campaigning had proved, he was not up to the task, so he began to promote Miguel Herrero as his replacement, but the "Young Turks" of AP wanted Antonio Hernández Mancha. Eventually, this question would be settled in the Congress of 1988, when Hernández Mancha achieved an unexpected victory and became the new leader of AP.

    According to some urban legends, the hard lesson that González received in the General Elections was also related with the sad role of the Spanish football team in the Mexico world cup of 1986, when it was defeated by Italy (2-1) -2- just two weeks before the voting day.


    -1- IOTL, 56.85 vs 1 43.15; as in Catalonia the "No" option (1,263,416 "yes" votes, 46.28%; 1,466,639 "no" votes, 53.72%), without it the "yes" achieves a slighty bigger margin over the "no". IOTL the refenredum was held in 1986.
    -2- IOTL, Spain did not play against Italy but against Northern Ireland and won the match 2-1.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  12. Threadmarks: 8. "¡Que vienen los nacionalistas!": the small nationalist parties phenomenon.

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    8. "¡Que vienen los nacionalistas!": the small nationalist parties phenomenon

    In spite of the situation, González was unwilling to give up and wanted to have the PCE and Iglesias under his thumb. This was quite obvious by September 1987, after the summer holidays. Just as the massive privatisation process, which had started in 1986, was reintroduced again in force and the new reform of the labour reform arose, Socialists and Communists began to strongly disagree. Then, the trade unions, that still remembered the Socialist restructuring of the steel and dock industries, threatened with more strikes if the PSOE dared to go on with the reform. OF course, the PCE refused to support that measure. Then, the great strike of 1987 took place on 14 December (1) and completely paralysed the country. The Trade Unions and the PSOE left wing claimed that González was moving to the right. González had to admit his defeat and the reform was dropped while social spending rose. Eventually, this crisis would led to a historical split between UGT and PSOE

    Then, unexpectedly, his Treasury Minister, Miguel Boyer, resigned from his post in early January 1988 to join UCD in late February. It was a shock for the PSOE. His replacement was Carlos Solchaga, former Industry Minister, who implemented an aggressive policy to end with the high unemployment rate, fixed in 1988 at 20.49%, as we have seen, and also with an increased productivity and surging exports, but with unsustainable fiscal deficits beginning to stop the growth and that only the economical help from the EEC keep at bay. With the reform of the welfare program half done and with the workers threatening to stop the country again, unable to find the support needed to go on, González was forced to call for General Elections, that were held in July 1988.

    It was a bold move by González, as the PSOE had suffered a small defeat in the local elections of 1987, when they lost the main cities. It was to be the last General Elections for Garrigues Walker, that was to retire from politics two years later. When the voters gave a new victory to González, the center politician read the results of his party as a sign that his reform had not been enough, and then he began to groom Boyer as his replacement. Hernández Mancha, on his part, was accused by his own party of being not up to the task (which was painfully true) and, ironically, he was replaced by the same man he had succeeded, Manuel Fraga.

    This elections saw Herri Batasuna, the political branch of ETA, entering the Spanish Parliamnt, along with the Partido Andalucista (PA, Andalucian Party, led by a former Socialist politician, Alejandro Rojas Marcos), Union Valenciana (UV - Valencian Union, led by Vicente González Lizondo), Eusko Alkartasuna (EA - Basque Solidarity, a social-democratic and nationalist Basque party), Euskadiko Ezkerra (EE - the left of Euskadi, a Left nationalist Basque party), the Partido Aragonés Regionalista (PAR, Regionalist Aragonese Party), and the Bloque Nacionalista Galego (Nationalist Block of Galicia, the Left nationalist party of Galicia).

    PSOE (González) 6,999,568 votes - 39.60 %- 155 seats (-72,150 votes, no seats change)
    UCD (Garrigues Walker) - 5,038,972 votes - 25.79 % - 98 seats (-329,705 votes, -3 seats)
    PP (Hernández Mancha) - 1,507,716 votes - 7.89 % - 13 seats (-53,196 votes, -1 seat)
    PCE (Iglesias) - 1,858,588 votes - 9,07% - 20 seats (+362,013 votes, no seats change)
    PNV (Iñaki Anasagasti) - 254,681 votes - 1,24% - 5 seats (-55,929 votes, -1 seat)
    Herri Batasuna (Iñaki Esnaola) - 217,278 votes - 1,06 % - 2 seats
    Partido Andalucista (Alejandro Rojas Marcos) 212, 687 votes - 1,04 % - 2 seats
    Union Valenciana (Vicente González Lizondo) 144,924 votes - 0,71% - 1 seat
    Eusko Alkartasuna (Joseba Azkarraga) 136,955 votes - 0,67% - 1 seat
    Euskadiko Ezkerra (Koro Garmedia) 105.238 votes - 0,51% - 1 seat
    Partido Aragonés Regionalista (Jose María Mur) 71.733 votes - 0,35% - 1 seat
    Bloque Nacionalista Galego (Xose Manuel Beiras) 47.763 votes - 0,23% - 1 seat

    The elections had changed little, and it seemed as if the impasse was to last until the next elections. However, a change in the PP would meant a turn up for Spain...


    (1) IOTL, it took place in 1988.
     
  13. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

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    And now we leave the PSOE dealing with this "dejà vú" to take a look on what's going on in Catalonia...
     
  14. Threadmarks: 9. The "Rocazo"

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    9. The "Rocazo"

    The strikes and the weakness of the Catalan economy doomed Obiols. His rival, Miquel Roca, campaigned precisely on the weak points of the Socialist leader, that is, economic issues, pledging to control inflation and to reduce the increasing power of the trade unions who supported mass strikes. La Vanguardia, a newspaper which was quite close to Roca and the PCC, printed a series of articles by disillusioned former Socialist ministers that further contributed to damage Obiols. However, Roca went too far towards the end of the campaign, when he claimed during a political meeting at Vic that Obiols and the PSC were going "rogue" and that they had become a Communist party. In the end, this mistake did not damage Roca too much, as, by then, most of the voters had already made up their minds.

    Roca saw an impressive victory, the so called "Rocazo", and a massive return of voters to the ranks of his party, while Obiols managed to stand his ground in spite of the criticism. Meanwhile, the change in the leaders of ERC had proved to be less damaging than expected and Joan Hortalà, even if the loss of ten seats in the Parliament would hurt deeply the standing of the new president of the party.

    The return of the PCC to power also meant a loss of support to UDC, as those who had voted for Punset after the Pujol scandal returned to the PCC with the new leader and his promise of regeneration and recovery. Eventually, Eduard Punset would resign in September 1988. His replacement, Aleix Vidal Quadras, would take UDC further to the center right. This, however, was to divide the party, and a strong opposition rose against Vidal Quadras centered around Jorge Fernández Díaz, whose moderate views con Catalan politics made Vidal Quadras to look even further "rightist". Finally, the PSUC under Gutierrez Dìaz managed to stand its ground in front of the "Rocazo", but without begin able to solve his long lasting crisis.

    Indeed, Roca was to become the fourth prime minister of Catalonia, and with 69 seats (68 were needed to form a majority govern), he needed no one to govern. He had asked his voters to give him the chance to from a strong government and now he had the opportunity to do so.

    PCC (Roca) - 1 232 514 votes - 46,01% - 69 seats (+460,788 votes, +34 seats)
    ERC (Hortalà) - 509 943 votes - 17,86 % - 21 seats (-19,810 votes, -10 seats)
    PSC (Obiols) - 502 828 votes - 17.78 % - 31 seats (-336 547 votes, -10 seats)
    UDC (Punset) - 209 211 votes - 7.76 % - 9 seats (-178 610 votes, -11 seats)
    PSUC (Gutierrez Díaz) - 103 351 votes - 3.86 % - 3 seats (-178 610 votes, -3 seats)
     
  15. Threadmarks: 10. A fistful of carrots.

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    10. A fistful of carrots.

    Roca was determined to reduce inflation and set his government to work at once with a monetarist and deflationary economic policies (by rising rates, tightening the budget deficit, restricting government spending) that cut the inflation rate from a high of 14% in May 1986 to just over 8% by January 1987, and by June 1989 it had fallen to 3.9%. This achievement took place in spite of the rising in public expenditure. In spite of all the claims made during the political campaign, the Roca administration increased the public expending at around 1.5% per year during the 1986-1990 period. The GDP increase went from -1% in May 1986 to 0,90% by January 1987, and 1,4% by June 1989.

    However, this had a clear effect: a reduction in consumer spending, investment and exports which damaged the economic growth, an increase in the exchange rate while unemployment remained at 18% and it didn’t start to fall below until 1989, falling below 12% by 1990. Roca, however, could boast that productivity rose in all industry, specially in motor vehicle manufacture and in agriculture.

    All this had caused a shift in the popularity of Roca. Obiols joined forces with Punset and it seemed as if the Socialist and Centrist opposition could become a coalition for the elections of 1991. Then, in 1990, some Spanish farmers helped Roca quite unwillingly.

    As it had happened once, it all began when some trucks carrying Catalan goods to Valencia were attacked and burnt by angered Spanish farmers, in an odd twist of the border troubles of 1984-1985. The crisis was short, and it lasted hardly fifteen days (April 8-23, 1990), but it would further damage the shaky Spanish-Catalan relations when some newspapers asked for a boicot against the Catalan firms, who, from then on, began to focus more on foreign markets (specially the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium) than in Spanish ones. Finally, this crisis ended with a small defeat of the Spanish government when the EC mediated in the event and forced Madrid to increase the border controls and pay a small compensation to the Catalan firms that were damaged by the destruction of their goods. All in all, this event was nothing but a small footnote in history books, but Roca managed to turn it into a great show that reinforced his standing in Catalonia. Then, of course, he called for General Elections.

    Later on, a journalist claimed that a fistful of carrots were to decide who was to be the next prime minister of Catalonia.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  16. Threadmarks: 11. Hard as a Rock

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    11. Hard as a Rock.

    By April 1990, just as everything pointed out towards a split of the PSC seemed because of Obiols' turn to the left, Roca's popularity was fading away. Then, Obiols moderated his views and joined hands with Punset. Roca seemed to be a thing of the past. Then the "Carrot's war" took place and everything changed.

    The outcome of the crisis and the improving economy marked the pace of the electoral campaign. Roca played his cards: employment, economic growth and defence. Obiols was unable to counter Roca's topics and his campaign became a randomly tour of absurdities as he went back and forth. One day he was taking the PSC further left than ever, on the following one he was being even more conservative than Roca. It goes without saying that Punset broke his ties with the PSC at once.

    The polls were a slight surprise for many. Roca was still the most voted force, true, but he had not wiped out his rival; ERC doubled the votes riding the nationalist wave that the crisis had created and replaced the PSC as the second political force of the country; of coures, the PSC suffered a terrible defeat while UDC became the third political force of Catalonia and the PSUC stood its ground.

    PCC (Roca) - 1 155 230 votes - 44,9% - 70 seats (-77,284 votes, + 1 seat)
    ERC (Hortalà) - 718,864 votes - 29,7% - 36 seats (+209,921 votes, +15 seats)
    UDC (Punset) - 465 351 votes - 19.3 % - 13 seats (+156 140 votes, +4 seats)
    PSC (Obiols) - 251 441 votes - 7.1 % - 13 seats (-336 547 votes, -18 seats)
    PSUC (Gutierrez Díaz) - 105 144 votes - 3,88% - 3 seats (+1,793 votes, no seat change)

    Shaken by the defeat, Obiols resigned before the party could ask for his head. Joaquim Nadal was voted to be his replacement. Nadal, the major of Girona since 1979, was seen as a moderate and more nationalist alternative to Obiols.This was not to be the only change in the political scene of Catalonia. In the comming months, two more parties were to have a leadership dilemma...
     
  17. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    Is anyone wondering what's going on in Spain?

    Suffer no more! Spain will be back in the next update!
     
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  18. Threadmarks: 12. The pains of González.

    Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    [​IMG]

    12. The pains of González.

    The General Elections of July 1988 changed little. González was unable to form a government without the support of other parties and Iglesias and the PCE were not willing to support what they considered the neo-liberal ways of the PSOE. On his part, Garrigues Walker had offered to support the PSOE, but under his own rules. Thus, González was in an even worse situation than in March 1987.

    Thus, González attempted to follow a machiavellian approach: sometimes he asked the support of the PCE, and sometimes of UCD, while claiming in the press that any failure was not his faults but the ones of his "partners". Of course, eventually this had a price to pay. In 1989 the new leader of UCD, Miguel Boyer, offered a deal to González: either to form a coallition government or General Elections. González decided to risk another electoral round.

    Meanwhile, Manuel Fraga, who had replaced Hernández Mancha, proposed, again, Miguel Herrero as the new head of the PP, but, to the surprise of many, an internal revolt took place and Jorge Vestrynge, the Secretary General of the PP since 1979, was proposed by the "rebel" faction of the PP. To the surprise of many, Herrero was defeated in his bid and Vestrynge, against all odds, became the new president of the PP, while Fraga was then appointed as honorary president of the PP and then "exiled" to his Galician homeland in 1989 with the Gallician branch of the PP. Herrero, with his hopes crushed again, withdrew from politics a few months later.

    The rise of Vestrynge and the fall of Herrero meant the end of the hopes of a young politician, José María Aznar, to thrive in the PP. The then leader of the PP in Castille-León was the head of the Junta of Castille with a coaliion goverment with UCD, began to prepare a new turn for his political life, which was to take him to join UCD in 1989.

    To make things worse for González, ETA resumed its terror campaign with a bomb in Madrid that left 12 dead and 32 wounded (September 14th, 1988) and then a failed attack against a military barracks in Zaragoza in December that year, that ended with the dead of two members of ETA, Henri Parot and Jacques Esnal, when the car bomb they were driving to the barracks exploded prematurely. Two other members of the ETA commando, Joan Parot, brother of Henri, and Frederic Haramboure, were arrested a few days later. The "brain" of the failed attack and one of the three main leaders of ETA, Josu Urrutikoetxea, Josu Ternera, was to be arrested on January 1989 in France. Eventually, this spree of death would unite the Spanish political parties in the so-called Pactos de Ajuria Enea (Ajuria Enea Pacts), as we shall see.
     
  19. Bob Gump Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Interesting, will Galicia avoid a Fraga age ITTL?
     
  20. Kurt_Steiner That's a years supply!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalunya
    Well... ITTL neither Fraga nor his party are half as popular (no pun intended) as IOT, so...
     
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