On June 15, 1977 there were the elections by universal suffrage won by the Center Union. Second was the Socialist Party Obrero Espanol.
Premier Suarez formed the coalition government with the representation of all parties in the country, also in order to obtain homogeneous forces to overcome economic difficulties. In February 1978, however, a reshuffle was needed and new forces entered the government, especially entrepreneurial. On this occasion, the government program was oriented more towards a social market economy.
On December 6, 1978, a referendum was held for a new Constitution, which regulated the role of parties and unions and which established the detachment of the Church from the State. In January 1979, despite the current capital punishment, there were acts of terrorism, aimed at targeting the leaders of power and destabilizing public order.
On 1 March 1979 there were new consultations which practically, in addition to confirming the stability of the electorate, made a slight progress of the Communist party and a decline in the moderate right. Suarez Gonzales on April 6 was able to form the new government.
In foreign policy, Spain left the African colonies free in the 1970s, declared itself open to cooperation with all states, in every direction, for the relaxation and security of all peoples.
According to Abbreviationfinder, the 1980s began negatively for Suarez Gonzales who, following an unfortunate situation, oppressed by various difficulties and contested, had to resign in January 1981. He was replaced by L. Calvo Sotelo, vice president of the Council. On the occasion of the installation of the new executive there was an attempted coup, which failed. About thirty responsible officers were imprisoned.
In October 1982 there were early elections which awarded the majority to the socialists, led by F. Gonzales. These then had a government monopoly for many years and immediately began to apply measures capable of reviving the economy and reducing unemployment which in 1986 was the highest in Europe with 21%. In December 1988 the activity of the big cities was paralyzed by a gigantic general strike.
In the meantime, various reforms had been brought to fruition, such as the legalization of abortion, which procured many protests from the Church; a regional system was implemented and autonomy was granted to three regions: the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia, different from the others in many characters, including the language.
In 1986 and 1989 political elections saw a decline in socialists. After the latter, Spain was the scene of scandals and episodes of corruption that continued even in the early nineties.
In 1993 the socialists were hit by other scandals because of irregular party funding. In the meantime, a strong recession had already started in the previous year with continuous job losses. The freezing of wages then led to strikes and protests by a million workers in the public sector and then there was a “green march” by farmers in 1993. To all this must be added the bloody actions of the terrorists.
In July 1993, despite the losses of the socialists in the majority, Gonzales also formed a new, minority government. Then, in an attempt to stop the recession, he ordered large cuts in public spending and attempted greater flexibility in the job market. All of this was bitterly opposed by the world of work which proclaimed a 24-hour general strike in January 1994. And despite everything, in the first quarter of the same year there was a modest increase in gross domestic product.
The European events of the late 1980s and early 1990s always included Spain among the protagonists in the various fields: from popular acceptance to permanence in NATO, to the revision of the defense agreement with the United States, with the evacuation of the same from the air base of Torreon de Ardoz, and the ratification of the Treaty of European Union of Maastricht. During the Bosnian war, Spain for the first time participated in a United Nations peacekeeping mission by sending a contingent of its troops.
Meanwhile, however, the country was increasingly afflicted by episodes of terrorism, carried out by a Basque separatist organization, the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA.
The government was forced to report its weakness against this organization and Gonzales, after completing his presidency of the European Union in December 1995, had to communicate to the country that early elections were scheduled for March 1996. Ed the result of these elections was punitive for the Socialist Party, which thus ended its cycle of government. And since the relative majority went to the Popular Party, that was what formed the government. Its leader, JM Aznar, supported a long period of negotiations to reach the external support of moderate nationalists. Then he developed a program which, in addition to the improvement in all sectors of the economy, also provided for further support for the wider regional autonomies.
Restrictive economic measures were immediately applied, such as the freezing of salaries in the public sector and the cuts in public education, which brought many demonstrators interested in the two sectors to the streets. In February 1997 a large truck driver strike stopped all national activities. Despite this, Aznar was able to continue to pursue its economic stability program.
Instead, the crisis of the Socialist Party had continued to expand, so that in June 1997 he resigned from his role as secretary, which was inherited by J. Almunia. But not for long, because he himself with the party primaries, which took place in April 1998, was replaced by J. Borrell.
Meanwhile, in November 1997, Aznar’s credibility suffered a severe blow following some accusations of corruption attributed to him by a Catalan businessman, J. De la Rosa. He had publicly declared his sustained financial participation in Aznar’s election campaign with the consequent strengthening of the Popular Party. For this reason, the consensus in Aznar by the Basque Nationalist Party and the Convergence and Catalan Union ceased.
With the Aznar crisis, the rise of socialist quotations, already qualified after the European elections of June 1999, went hand in hand. And since in April J. Borrell had retired from the party secretariat, in July he was again appointed secretary J Almunia.
In the meantime, the Basque Nationalist Party had definitively withdrawn its support for Aznar, while multiple acts of terrorism by ETA occurred in the country, which brought thousands and thousands of citizens to the streets for the protest. These demonstrations were held not only in Madrid and other cities, but also in the Basque region. The Supreme Court intervened to condemn all 23 members of the People’s Unity (HB = HERRI BATASUNA) political arm of ETA:
They, although having clarified their extraneousness to the facts and their autonomy towards that organization, were each sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of collaboration with the armed gang.
Then there was a complete change in the trend of this organization which after 30 years of armed struggle finally abandoned criminal actions and also proposed itself for the formation of regional governments.
Aznar, in June 1999, promoted some meetings with the Basque leaders and the court the following month issued the sentences of acquittal for all those who had been in prison since 1997. However, it had been a truce and ETA decided to to break it already in November 1999 by reiterating the Basque Country’s request for the achievement of complete self-determination.
In all these years, in international politics Spain had been present at the Ibero-American meetings that took place every year with the countries of Latin America and with Portugal.
In 1997 he sent his own military group with the multinational force to Albania and in 1999 participated in the NATO intervention in Kosovo.
Then Spain was accepted into the Atlantic Alliance, also with the favorable opinion of Great Britain with which it was in conflict for the Spanish claim on Gibraltar. Both countries agreed to engage in other negotiations elsewhere.
The Aznar government, throughout this time, had achieved good political and economic successes so as to enjoy good stability and credibility since the early months of 2000. He had favored many agreements between employers and unions in the field of labor law, so as to regulate both layoffs and permanent employment contracts.
The March 2000 legislative elections gave Aznar, and his party, an absolute majority, and he was able to govern without the need to resort to the support of nationalist parties.