Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Al Loving Biography - Loved Painting from Early Age to Alice McGill Biography - Personal » Felipe González Márquez: 1942—: Spanish Prime Minister Biography - Found Socialism During College, Garnered Support For The Psoe, Change And Victory For The Psoe

Felipe González Márquez: 1942—: Spanish Prime Minister - Change And Victory For The Psoe

party centrist spain government

In June of 1977 Spain held its first free elections in more than 40 years. The PSOE won 30 percent of the vote, making it the majority opposition party. González's commitment to socialism was tempered by a belief that the transition to a democratic government in Spain would be best served by a more centrist approach. He worked to build a good working relationship with the centrist government led by Adolfo Suarez.

Many Spanish socialists, however, felt that the government needed to adopt a more radical political agenda. During the party's 28th congress in May of 1979, González made a motion to remove the word "Marxist" from the party's official platform. The motion was rejected, and González stepped down as party leader. The party had a change of heart, and a mere four months later it adopted González's motion and reinstated him as leader. Those from the left wing of the party were not pleased by the push toward the center, but the centrists were certain that only by embracing a moderate agenda could they win more seats in the Spanish parliament. Even a centrist approach was too radical for some; on February 23, 1981, military troops under the leadership of Colonel Antonio Tejero stormed Spain's parliament building and took a number of legislators hostage, including González. The coup failed, in part thanks to the personal intervention of Spanish King Juan Carlos I.

In the October 1982 elections the Spanish public came out in a strong show of support of solidarity with González and the moderates. The PSOE won 46 percent of the vote, which gave it a parliamentary majority. Soon after, González was sworn in as the nation's first socialist prime minister.

Felipe González Márquez: 1942—: Spanish Prime Minister - Took Spain In A New Direction [next] [back] Felipe González Márquez: 1942—: Spanish Prime Minister - Garnered Support For The Psoe

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