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Zapatero vs Rajoy: who did better in the debate? March 4, 2008

Posted by Daniel Martin in General.
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The election debate dominates all the Spanish front pages today, following the second duel between José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Mariano Rajoy last night.
El Mundo headlines that Rajoy challenged Zapatero in vain to defend the use of Castellano in Cataluña. The paper considers that Rajoy answered the attacks from an agile and incisive Zapatero. The paper also highlights the Zapatero comment criticised by Rajoy – ‘What anti-terrorist policy do you prefer? – that of this legislature with four fatalities or from the previous legislature with 238 fatalities?’ Rajoy responded to that saying he did not think that Zapatero would use the deaths or gloat from the number of people to have died in one legislature or another.

El Mundo shows the Prime Minister holding up a copy of a front page of the paper. El Mundo in the centre again, is the paper’s caption. The copy shown had Mariano Rajoy declaring in 2004 that he had ‘not the least doubt’ of a connection between ETA and Islamic terrorism.

El Mundo looks at the poll taken for the paper by Sigma Dos after the debate and concludes that Zapatero has won again, although he continues to disappoint his own followers.

ABC says that Rajoy resisted in a debate where Zapatero tried to convert it into an argument. The paper’s editorial says ‘tense debate, open vote’. The paper considers the debate may not be so decisive in the result, but it will influence public opinion.

El Páis has the headline ‘Zapatero buries Rajoy’ and considers of the debate showed two different styles up against each other. The paper considers that last night showed how such differences ‘work’, but this time it was better as more arguments were put forward than in the first encounter.

La Razón headlines that Rajoy keeps his advantage putting forward solutions. The paper highlights a slow down in the sale of new cars in Spain as an indication of the economy slowdown.

Público considers that ‘Rajoy does not pass the exam’.
Meanwhile we are told by El Mundo that the people taking a postal vote for the poll is 37% higher than four years ago, at 767,000. No one really knows which party that might benefit.

Barcelona paper La Vanguardia says that Zapatero won the day and was more convincing in the face of a ‘corrosive’ Rajoy. The paper also gives coverage to the start of a bus strike in the Catalan capital today which it describes as ‘unacceptable’. It means the 15,000 Celtic supporters arriving today will have to take the metro.

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