Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
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|Spokesperson in Congress||Adriana Lastra|
|Spokesperson in Senate||Ander Gil|
|Founder||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
|Founded||2 May 1879|
C/ Ferraz, 70|
28008 Madrid, Spain
|Student wing||Campus Joven|
|Youth wing||Socialist Youth of Spain|
|Trade union||General Union of Workers|
|European affiliation||Party of European Socialists|
|European Parliament group||Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats|
|Congress of Deputies||
84 / 350
62 / 265
14 / 54
346 / 1,268
7 / 19
391 / 1,040
|Local Government (2015)||
20,823 / 67,611
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Spanish: Partido Socialista Obrero Español [paɾˈtiðo soθjaˈlista oβɾeɾo espaˈɲol] ( listen); PSOE [peˈsoe] ( listen)) is a social-democratic political party in Spain. The PSOE has been in government for a longer time than any other political party in modern democratic Spain: from 1982 to 1996 under Felipe González; from 2004 to 2011 under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and currently since 2018 under Pedro Sánchez.
The PSOE was founded in 1879, which makes it the oldest party currently active in Spain. The PSOE played a key role during the Second Spanish Republic, being part of coalition government from 1931 to 1933 and from 1936 to 1939, when the Republic was defeated by Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Historically a Marxist party, it abandoned Marxism in 1979. The PSOE has historically had strong ties with the General Union of Workers (UGT), a Spanish trade union. For decades, UGT membership was a requirement for PSOE membership. However, since the 1980s UGT has frequently criticized the economic policies of PSOE, even calling for a general strike against the PSOE government on 14 December 1988. The PSOE was one of the main forces in the opposition the Francoist Spain. The PSOE is a member of the Party of European Socialists, Progressive Alliance and the Socialist International. In the European Parliament, PSOE's 14 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sit in the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) European parliamentary group.
- 1 Ideology
- 2 History
- 3 Electoral performance
- 4 Terms
- 5 Historical leaders
- 6 Notable members
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
PSOE was founded with the purpose of representing and defending the interests of the working class formed during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. In its beginnings, PSOE's main objective was the defense of worker's rights and the achievement of the ideals of socialism, emerging from contemporary philosophy and Marxist politics, by securing political power for the working class and socialising the means of production in order to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat in the transition to socialist society. The ideology of the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party has evolved throughout the 20th century according to relevant historical events and the evolution of Spanish society.
In 1979, the party abandoned its definitive Marxist theses at the hands of its then secretary general Felipe González, not before overcoming great tensions and two congresses, the first of which preferred to maintain Marxism. Before this situation, notable internal leaders like Pablo Castellano or Luis Gómez Llorente founded the internal faction of Left Socialists, which included the militants who would not renounce Marxism. This allowed for the consolidation of the leftist forces in PSOE. From this moment, the diverse events both outside and within the party led to projects that resembled those of other European social democratic parties and acceptance of the defence of the market economy.
Currently, PSOE defines itself as "social democratic, centre-left and progressive". Concerning the territorial model of the realm, PSOE supports asymmetric federalism. It is grouped with other self-styled socialists, social democrats and labour parties in the Party of European Socialists.
Early history (1879–1974)
PSOE was founded on 2 May 1879 in the Casa Labra Pub (city of Madrid) by the historical Spanish workers' leader Pablo Iglesias. The first program of the new political party was passed in an assembly of 40 people, on 20 July of that same year. Although PSOE was rather weak during the late 19th century, its active participation in strikes from 1899 to 1902 and especially its electoral coalition with the main Republican parties led in 1910 to the election of Pablo Iglesias as the first Socialist representative in the Spanish Cortes.
PSOE formed part of the Spanish Government during the Second Spanish Republic and as part of the Spanish Popular Front, elected to government in February 1936. During the civil war years, PSOE was divided into three wings: a leftist revolutionary Marxist wing, led by Francisco Largo Caballero that advocated dictatorship of the proletariat, nationalization of every industry, and total redistribution of land; a moderate, social-democratic faction, led by Indalecio Prieto; and a reformist one, led by Julian Besteiro.
The caudillo Francisco Franco banned PSOE in 1939, and the party was legalized again in 1977. During Franco's rule members of PSOE were persecuted, with many leaders, members and supporters being imprisoned or exiled and even executed.
Modern history (1974–present)
Its 25th Congress was held in Toulouse in August 1972. In 1974 at its 26th Congress in Suresnes, Felipe González was elected Secretary General, replacing Rodolfo Llopis Ferrándiz. González was from the "reform" wing of the party, and his victory signaled a defeat for the historic and veteran wing of the Party. The direction of the party shifted from the exiles to the young people in Spain who hadn't fought the war.
Llopis led a schism to form the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (historic) González showed intentions to move the party away from its Marxist and socialist background, turning PSOE into a social-democratic party, similar to those of the rest of western Europe. In 1977 PSOE became the unofficial opposition leading party with 29.2% of the vote and 118 seats in the Parliament (which until then it had been the Communists, leading more aggressively among a larger representation of underground parties since the last free popular vote during the Civil War on Republican territory) in what was still a pluralistic party election but heading towards a de facto two-party system. Their standing was further boosted in 1978 when the 6 deputies of the Popular Socialist Party agreed to merge with the party.
In their 27th congress in May 1979, González resigned because the party would not abandon its Marxist character. In September of that year, the extraordinary 28th congress was called in which González was re-elected when the party agreed to move away from Marxism. European social-democratic parties supported González's stand, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany granted them money. PSOE party symbol was changed from the anvil with the book to the social-democratic rose in the fist, as used by the French Socialist Party. In the referendum of 1978, PSOE supported the Spanish Constitution, which was approved. In the 1979 Spanish general election PSOE gained 30.5% of the vote and 121 seats, remaining the main opposition party. On 28 October 1982 Spanish general election, PSOE was victorious, with 48.1% of the vote (10,127,392 total). Felipe González became Prime Minister of Spain on 2 December, a position he held until May 1996.
Though the party had opposed NATO, after reaching the government most party leaders supported keeping Spain inside the organisation. The González administration organised a referendum on the question in 1986, calling for a favourable vote, and won. The administration was criticised for avoiding the official names of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and NATO, using the unofficial Atlantic Alliance terms. A symbol of this U-turn is Javier Solana who campaigned against NATO but ended up years later as its Secretary General.
PSOE supported the United States in the Gulf War (1991). PSOE won the 1986, 1989 and 1993 general elections. Under the Gonzalez Administration, public expenditure on education, health, and pensions rose in total by 4.1 points of the country's GDP between 1982 and 1992.
Economic crisis and state terrorism (GAL) against the violent separatist group ETA eroded the popularity of Felipe González, and in 1996, PSOE lost the elections to the conservative People's Party (PP). Between 1996 and 2001 PSOE weathered a crisis, with Gonzalez resigning in 1997. PSOE suffered a heavy defeat in 2000 (34.7%). PSOE remained as the ruling party in the autonomous communities of Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and Asturias.
In 2000, a new general secretary, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (also known as ZP), was elected, renewing the party. Later, PSOE won the municipal elections of 2003.
PSOE strongly opposed the Iraq War, which was supported by the Aznar government.
On 13 November 2003 PSOE (Socialists' Party of Catalonia, PSC) increased its vote total but scored second in the regional election in Catalonia, after Convergence and Union. After a period of negotiations, the party formed a pact with Republican Left of Catalonia, Initiative for Catalonia Greens and the United and Alternative Left, and governed in Catalonia until 2010.
On 14 March 2004, PSOE won the 2004 Spanish general election with almost 43% of the votes, following the 11-M terrorist (11 March) attacks, and maintained their lead in the elections to the European Parliament.
In 2005, PSOE called for a "Yes" vote on the European Constitution. PSOE also favoured the negotiations between the government and ETA during the 2006 cease-fire, which had a de facto end with the Barajas Airport terrorist attack.
On 9 March 2008 PSOE won the 2008 general elections again with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero remaining Prime Minister of Spain. The Socialists increased their share of seats in the Congress of Deputies from 164 to 169 after the latest election.
However, after waning popularity throughout their second term, mainly due to their handling of the worsening economic climate in Spain in the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, PSOE were defeated in the general elections of November 2011 by the conservative People's Party. Shortly after, an extraordinary congress was held, in which Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, former Deputy to Zapatero and Minister of the Interior, was elected Secretary General defeating Carme Chacón, the other candidate, who stood for the Zapatero platform. This victory caused huge internal divisions and weakened the party's external image.
In 2013, PSOE held a political conference which introduced a completely new platform, widely seen as a move to the left in a desperate attempt to steal votes from parties such as United Left, whose popularity rose steadily due to the general discontent with the two-party system and spending cuts. That platform was the basis for the European Parliament election manifesto, promoted as a solid alternative to the conservative plan for Europe. The expectations inside the party, which chose Elena Valenciano as their election candidate, were really optimistic; however, the social democrats suffered another huge defeat due to the appearance of new parties such as Podemos which managed to gain the support of left-wing voters; PSOE won 14 seats. Shortly thereafter, Rubalcaba resigned as Secretary General and an Extraordinary Congress was convoked. This congress was the first to use a primary election system with three candidates: Pedro Sánchez, Eduardo Madina and José Antonio Pérez-Tapias. Pedro Sánchez was elected with 49 percent of the vote of the affiliates and therefore became Secretary General on 27 July.
In 2015 municipal elections were held, where the PSOE won 25% of the vote, one of its worst results in the history of democracy, together with the fall of the Popular Party, which won 27% of votes, it meant the end of the two-party system in Spain in favor of new parties. The PSOE lost 943 councilors but passes govern 2-7 communities through pacts left.
On 20 December, the 2015 general election was held, which produced a parliament broken into four major parties. PSOE, due to the large increase for parties like Podemos (left) and Citizens (centre-right), got about 20% of the vote, its worst result since democracy was restored. Parliament was so fragmented, no government could be formed, and six months later new elections were held. The 2016 elections resulted in the PSOE losing five seats despite gaining 0.6% of the vote (still the party's second-worst popular vote total since the restoration of democracy, after 2015), leaving the party with 85 seats in Parliament, their lowest total since the restoration of democracy and the fewest since the elections of 1933 in Republican Spain left the party with 59 seats in the 473-member parliament.
With the exception of the 2015 Andalusian elections, most elections held during the leadership of Sánchez were negative for the PSOE. In addition, the policy of pacts conducted by Sánchez after the general elections of 2016, based on Sánchez's outright refusal to facilitate a PP government, caused a faction within the party critical of Sánchez to rise in prominence. This faction was led by President of Andalusia Susana Díaz.
On September 28, 2016, the Secretary of Federal Policy, Antonio Pradas, went to the party's headquarters and presented the en bloc resignation of 17 members of the Federal Executive and the demands of those who resigned for the party to be run by an interim manager and to pressure Pedro Sánchez to resign as secretary general. The Executive later lost two more members in the en bloc resignation, bringing the total number of resignations to 19. Resigning executives included the president of the party, Micaela Navarro, the former Minister Carme Chacón, the President of Valencia Ximo Puig and the President of Castilla–La Mancha Emiliano García-Page. This launched the 2016 PSOE crisis.
On the afternoon of 1 October, 2016, after holding a tense Federal Committee meeting, Pedro Sánchez resigned as party General Secretary, forcing an extraordinary party congress to choose a new General Secretary. That night it was reported that an interim manager would be chosen, confirmed to be the President of Asturias Javier Fernández Fernández. Fernández and Sánchez both announced their intentions to run for General Secretary of the party, as did Susana Díaz, one of the leaders of the anti-Sánchez faction of the party.
At the 39th federal congress in June 2017, Díaz received 48.3% of endorsements, outpacing both Sánchez (43.0% of endorsements) and Fernández (8.7% of endorsements), but Sánchez won an absolute majority of the party's popular vote, at 50.3% (Díaz received 39.9% and Fernández 9.8%). Both Díaz and Fernández withdrew before the delegate vote, returning Sánchez as the General Secretary of the PSOE and ending the crisis.
In June 2018, General Secretary Sánchez presented a motion of no confidence to parliament against the PP government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after the National Court found that the PP profited from the illegal kickbacks-for-contracts scheme of the Gürtel case, confirming the existence of an illegal accounting and financing structure that ran in parallel with the party's official one since 1989 and ruling that the PP helped establish "a genuine and effective system of institutional corruption through the manipulation of central, autonomous and local public procurement." The PSOE's motion passed with the support of Unidos Podemos, Republican Left of Catalonia, Catalan European Democratic Party, Basque Nationalist Party, Coalició Compromís, EH Bildu and New Canaries, bringing down the Rajoy government. The PP voted against the proposal, joined by Citizens, Navarrese People's Union and Asturias Forum. Canarian Coalition abstained.
After Rajoy's government fell, Pedro Sánchez became Prime Minister of Spain on 1 June 2018, in a minority government. Sánchez said he planned to form a government that would eventually dissolve the Cortes Generales and call for a general election, but he did not specify when he would do it, while also saying that, before calling for an election, he intended take a series of measures like increasing unemployment benefits and proposing a law of equal pay between the sexes. However, he also said he would uphold the 2018 budget approved by the Rajoy government, a condition the right-leaning Basque Nationalist Party imposed to vote for the motion of no-confidence. He also said he would "reinstate dialogue" with the Catalan independence movement.
Sánchez took office on 2 June 2018 in the presence of former Prime Minister Rajoy, President of the Congress Ana Pastor, as well as King Felipe VI. Spanish media noted that Sánchez swore office on the Spanish Constitution instead of swearing on a Bible, nor did he wear a crucifix, for the first time in modern Spanish history. After being sworn in, Sánchez announced that he would only propose measures that had considerable parliamentary support, and reaffirmed the government's compliance with the EU deficit requirements.
Congress of Deputies
|Congress of Deputies|
0 / 404
|N/A||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
1 / 404
|with CRS||–||Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
1 / 408
|with CRS||–||Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
1 / 409
|with CRS||–||Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
6 / 409
|with AI||–||Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
6 / 409
|with CRS||–||Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
4 / 409
|Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
7 / 409
|Opposition||Pablo Iglesias Posse|
116 / 470
|21.4||Government||Francisco Largo Caballero|
|Opposition (from Sep 1933)|
59 / 473
|19.4||Opposition||Francisco Largo Caballero|
99 / 473
|with FP||16.4||Opposition||Indalecio Prieto|
|Government (from Sep 1936)|
118 / 350
|5,371,866 (#2)||29.32||Opposition||Felipe González|
121 / 350
|5,469,813 (#2)||30.40||Opposition||Felipe González|
202 / 350
|10,127,392 (#1)||48.11||Government||Felipe González|
184 / 350
|8,901,718 (#1)||44.06||Government||Felipe González|
175 / 350
|8,115,568 (#1)||39.60||Government||Felipe González|
159 / 350
|9,150,083 (#1)||38.78||Government||Felipe González|
141 / 350
|9,425,678 (#2)||37.63||Opposition||Felipe González|
125 / 350
|7,918,752 (#2)||34.16||Opposition||Joaquín Almunia|
164 / 350
|11,026,163 (#1)||42.59||Government||José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero|
169 / 350
|11,289,335 (#1)||43.87||Government||José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero|
110 / 350
|7,003,511 (#2)||28.76||Opposition||Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba|
90 / 350
|5,545,315 (#2)||22.00||Opposition||Pedro Sánchez|
85 / 350
|5,443,846 (#2)||22.63||Opposition||Pedro Sánchez|
|Government (from Jun 2018)|
54 / 207
69 / 208
134 / 208
124 / 208
107 / 208
96 / 208
81 / 208
60 / 208
89 / 208
|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero|
96 / 208
|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero|
54 / 208
|Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba|
47 / 208
43 / 208
28 / 60
27 / 60
22 / 64
24 / 64
25 / 54
23 / 54
14 / 54
- Baron: unofficial term for the party's regional leaders. They can be very powerful, especially if they run an autonomous community. There have been conflicts between barons and the central directorate in the past. Some barons were Pasqual Maragall (Catalonia), who didn't run for re-election in 2006; Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra (Extremadura), who didn't run for re-election in 2007; Manuel Chaves (Andalucia), who renounced Andalucia's presidency in 2009 to assume Third Vice Presidency of the Spanish Government; José Montilla (Catalonia), now opposition leader. The term barón is more colloquial than official, representing the great power regional leaders have in the party, but it has been falling out of use since 2008.
- Compañero ("companion", "comrade"): a term of address among Socialists, analogous to the English comrade and the Russian tovarisch.
- Currents: there have been several internal groups within PSOE, based on personal or ideological affinities. Some of them have ended with separation from PSOE. The failed trial of primary elections for PSOE candidates was an attempt to conciliate currents. Examples of currents are "Guerristas" (followers of Alfonso Guerra), "Renovadores" (renewers, right wing of the Party) or Izquierda Socialista (Socialist Left).
- Cayetano Redondo Aceña
- Joaquin Almunia
- Francisco Arias Solís
- José María Barreda
- Julián Besteiro
- Josep Borrell
- Francisco Largo Caballero
- Felipe González
- Manuel Chaves González
- Alfonso Guerra
- Rodolfo Llopis
- Tomás Meabe
- Juan Negrín
- Pablo Iglesias Posse
- Indalecio Prieto
- Ramón Rubial
- Javier Solana
- José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
- Anabel Díez: El PSOE fija el censo provisional en 187.360 militantes. El País, 18/04/2017.
- PSOE. Ideology: Social democracy. Political Position: Centre-left - European Social Survey
- Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- Gibbons 1999, p. 48: «This was in line with the PSOE's strongly pro-European policies»
- Campoy-Cubillo 2012, p. 163: «The Saharawi cause was embraced not only by the Europeanist PSOE»
- Diputaciones provinciales 1979 - 2015.
- The PSOE is described as a social-democratic party by numerous sources:
- Hans-Jürgen Puhle (2001). "Mobilizers and Late Modernizers: Socialist Parties in the New Southern Europe". In Nikiforos P. Diamandouros; Richard Gunther. Parties, Politics, and Democracy in the New Southern Europe. JHU Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-8018-6518-3. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Dimitri Almeida (2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Richard Collin; Pamela L. Martin (2012). An Introduction to World Politics: Conflict and Consensus on a Small Planet. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-4422-1803-1. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko; Matti Mälkiä, eds. (2006). Encyclopedia of Digital Government. Idea Group Inc (IGI). p. 397. ISBN 978-1-59140-790-4.
- "History of PSOE" (in Spanish). PSOE own site. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
- (in Spanish) El líder del PSOE señala que "todos los federalismos son asimétricos" y opta por este modelo porque la Constitución "se quedó un poquito a medias" – La Vanguardia
- Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 – 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 325
- Helen Graham, "The Spanish Socialist Party in Power and the Government of Juan Negrín, 1937-9," European History Quarterly (1988) 18#2 pp 175–206. online
- Regimes, Politics, and Markets: Democratization and Economic Change in ... – José María Maravall – Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Reynoso, Diego (2004), Votos ponderados: sistemas electorales y sobrerrepresentación distrital, FLACSO México, 249, ISBN 978-970-701-521-0
- Anttiroiko, Ari-Veikko; Mälkiä, Matti (2007), Encyclopedia of Digital Government, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 1916, ISBN 978-1-59140-790-4
- Amoretti, Ugo M.; Bermeo, Nancy Gina (2004), Federalism and Territorial Cleavages, JHU Press, p. 498, ISBN 9780801874086
- Field, Bonnie N.; Botti, Alfonso (2013), Politics and Society in Contemporary Spain: From Zapatero to Rajoy, Palgrave Macmillan, 256, ISBN 978-1-137-30662-3
- Gibbons, John (1999), Spanish Politics Today, Manchester University Press, 174, ISBN 9780719049460
- Campoy-Cubillo, Adolfo (2012), Memories of the Maghreb: Transnational Identities in Spanish Cultural Production, Palgrave Macmillan, 230, ISBN 9781137028150
- Graham, Helen. "The Spanish Socialist Party in Power and the Government of Juan Negrín, 1937-9," European History Quarterly (1988) 18#2 pp 175–206. online
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