Spain. According to
Countryaah.com, the parliamentary elections in early March became
a victory for the Conservative Partido Popular (PP), which
won 156 of the 350 seats in the second parliament of the
Spanish Parliament, Cortes. This meant that for 13 years the
ruling Socialist Party (PSOE) ended up in opposition. To be
elected prime minister, PP leader José María Aznar formed a
coalition with the Catalan Convergencía in Union (CiU) and
two other smaller parties.
As one of his government's most important tasks, Aznar
looked to reduce the country's budget deficit. In order to
meet the EU convergence criteria for entry into EMU, the
deficit until 1997 would have to be reduced by an amount
corresponding to 3% of the gross domestic product.
The Aznar government received a six-month honeymoon, but
then the relative calm ceased. On the one hand, the Basque
country and Catalonia wanted control over tax revenues in
their regions, and on the other, workers and officials
objected to the far-reaching savings in the state budget. In
December, 1.6 million civil servants took part in a one-day
strike in protest of the government's decision to freeze
their salaries at the 1996 level.
In December, Spain became a full member of NATO. At the
same time, the Spanish Parliament decided that no nuclear
weapons should be placed in Spain.
In December it was celebrated that 60 years have passed
since the international brigades arrived in Spain to take
part in the battles against Franco's phalanxists. At the
same time, the German government decided to pay a sum
equivalent to SEK 13 million. to the residents of the Basque
city of Guernica as compensation for the German terrorist
bombings against the city in April 1937.