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As Facism Fades, Spain Debates Pace Change
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Jan 6, 1985
Start Page: 2
Section: Opinion; 4; Opinion Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

No doubt because of the troubled economy and the Socialist economic policy, the popularity of the Socialist Workers' Party has been decreasing in the polls. [Felipe Gonzalez] and the Socialists came to power in October, 1982, with 48% of the popular vote, an extraordinary total in Spain, where there are many parties. The result gave the Socialists an overwhelming majority in Parliament.

After campaigning on a promise to conduct a referendum to take Spain out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Gonzalez announced recently that although he plans to go ahead with the referendum, he will ask voters to approve of Spain's remaining in the alliance. Gonzalez, arguing that continued membership in NATO would take Spain out of isolation and help modernize the Spanish army, persuaded reluctant Socialists to support his stand at the convention.

No one in Spain who lived under the dictatorship believes that the present is like old times. The headline was obviously exaggerated for ironic impact. But there is little doubt that the headline symbolized what the present debate in Spain is all about-just how fast and far should Spain move away from its past.

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