Opposition Fails in No-Confidence Vote
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The main conservative opposition party failed as expected Monday in a vote of no-confidence it brought against the Socialist government of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez.
The count in the 350-seat lower house of Parliament was 195 for the government, 66 against it and 71 abstentions, accounting for the 332 members present and voting.
The censure motion was presented March 23 by the Popular Alliance and gave its new leader, Antonio Hernandez Mancha, his first chance to speak in Parliament. Observers saw it as an attempt to spur interest in the party before municipal and regional elections June 10.
Hernandez Mancha could not vote because he is not a member of Parliament, but was permitted to speak because a no-confidence motion requires the party presenting it to have a candidate for prime minister ready if it carries.
Socialists hold 184 seats in the lower house and the Alliance 67.
Hernandez Mancha claimed the government was in crisis because of strikes and demonstrations about issues ranging from university reforms and hospital administration to job cuts and a government-suggested ceiling of 5 percent on pay raises.
In Galicia, Spain’s northwestern province, thousands of farmers blocked major roads and highways with tractors Monday in protests aimed at pressuring the government into international negotiations about farm problems.
Spokesmen for the farmers said 40,000 tractors were involved, but government officials put the number at just over 5,000.
Two columns of tractors entered La Coruna and Orense, disrupting traffic for hours.
This and other protests have been sponsored by the National Young Farmers Association to demand lower duties on imported fertilizers and changes in export quotas on milk, meat and citrus fruits to which the Spain agreed as a condition for entering the European Economic Community on Jan.1, 1986.