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Rubalcaba admits mistakes by the current administration

Source: El Pais - Mon 1st Aug 2011

The PSOE candidate to run for prime minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, said he will not play down the fact that he has been a key cabine minister in the largely unpopular administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, seen by many as having mismanaged the economic crisis.

He also admitted that "mistakes" were made during these two terms in office, which prevented a better solution to the downturn.

One of these mistakes was failing to act on the real estate bubble, and another was not reforming the financial system earlier. "We had eight years but we didn't do it," the former interior minister, deputy prime minister and government spokesman said Sunday.

While other countries have managed to leave behind the crisis which began in 2008, Spain is continuing to struggle with an almost 21% rate of unemployment, a stagnant economy and a regional banking system that has been hit hard by the real estate crunch.

Meanwhile, the head of at least one major commercial bank appears to be publicly supporting the P.P. candidate, Mariano Rajoy. Comments made by BBVA chief Francisco González, who said Friday that "Spain needs a strong government that makes decisions that place it once again at the same level as major European countries," were seen by many as being support for the right-wing politician.

The Partido Popular currently stand 15 points ahead of the PSOE Party in an opinion poll published over the weekend.

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