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Spain’s return to "Old Europe": Background and Consequences of the March 11 and 14, 2004 Terrorist Attacks and Elections. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 5 March 2005

Roy, Joaquin. (2005) Spain’s return to "Old Europe": Background and Consequences of the March 11 and 14, 2004 Terrorist Attacks and Elections. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 5 March 2005. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    It is hard to fully understand the ultimate goal and some of the key arguments made by former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar during a limited series of public appearances performed since he left office just before the elections of March 14, 2004, in which he voluntarily did not run. Observers and scholars still wonder as to the real motivations behind a pattern that seems to be solely geared towards delivering a criticism of mostly foreign policy dimensions of the current government of Spain that unseated his Popular Party. Through a European-wide prism, and more specifically through a U.S. perspective, this behavior is a novelty, if not a blatant example of protocol-breaking. It is indeed unusual that a former high official uses foreign travels (especially in the land of a traditional ally) to send barbs towards his own democratically elected government, as if it were an exile experience. In concrete U.S. terms, it is a custom that a president who either decides not to run, is barred from reelection by constitutional mandate, or is defeated at the booth, leaves the scene quietly, offers a loyalty oath to the new leader and lets the representatives of his party in Congress deal with the imperfections of the foreign or domestic policy of the new administration. This civilized rule, elevated to the status of law in the United States, seems not to apply to the latest holder of the highest elected office in Spain. Moreover, what seems even odder about the behavior of José María Aznar is that he has been executing a systematic critique of the new foreign policy of his successor under the shadow of the White House, if not by the blessing and encouragement of President Bush, just before his reelection and most acutely after he was confirmed by a relative majority of the American people.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > terrorism
    Countries > Spain
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2008
    Page Range: p. 93
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:52
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8139

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