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POLITICS

Google reveals what Spain REALLY wants to know about its politicians

Nevermind policies, Spaniards are more concerned with the personal lives of their political candidates if their Google searches are anything to go by.

Google reveals what Spain REALLY wants to know about its politicians
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

In the run up to Spain’s general election on December 20th Google will publish a weekly roundup of the most searched for candidates and what Spaniards are itching to know about the leaders of the country’s main political parties.

His party may be currently lagging in fourth place in the opinion polls, but Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias is the most googled political leader in Spain at 38 percent.

The second most googled political leader is Spanish Prime Minister and head of the conservative Popular Party, at 27 percent, followed by Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera at 21 percent.

Spaniards do not seem too interested in Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez (10 percent), United Left leader Alberto Garzón (3 percent) or Andrés Herzog of the Union, Progress and Democracy party (1 percent).

Spaniards are a nosy bunch and are desperate to find out about the personal lives of the candidates if their Google searches are anything to go by. 

The top searched for question for Pablo Iglesias was: “How old is Pablo Iglesias?” followed by “Who is Pablo Iglesias’ girlfriend?”

Oddly, the most searched for question regarding Spain’s currently Prime Minister had nothing to do with politics, or foreign or domestic policy issues, but rather: “Who are Mariano Rajoy’s children?”

They also wanted to know how tall Rajoy was and “who is Rajoy’s cousin?”

Perhaps keen to find out if Albert Rivera trusts the Spanish public education system, the most searched for question relating to the Ciudadanos leader is: “Does Albert Rivera’s daughter go to a public school?”

Spaniards are also keen to know “who is Albert Rivera’s wife?” and “who are Albert Rivera’s children?”


Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Those Spaniards interested in Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez most want to know what university degree he studied, while they one of the most searched for questions to do with United Left leader Alberto Garzón was what was his opinion on bullfighting. 

Google Trends will release information on the most searched for Spanish political leaders as well as the most common questions every Thursday in the run up to the general election, on December 20th. 

 

 

Recent polls put the Popular Party in the lead with Spanish voters, followed by Ciudadanos, who could become kingmakers if the PP fail to win a majority. 

The poll put Spain traditional opposition party the Socialists in third place followed by Podemos in fourth.

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POLITICS

Spain’s Sánchez in Morocco to mend fences after crisis

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was in Rabat on Thursday to reset a "strategic partnership" despite criticism from within his left-wing government that it has caved into Moroccan pressure.

Spain's Sánchez in Morocco to mend fences after crisis

Sánchez and a dozen ministers are set to meet Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch for the first “high-level meeting” of its kind since 2015.

“Today we are consolidating a new stage in relations between Morocco and Spain,” Sánchez told journalists in Rabat, saying there was “enormous unexplored potential” between them.

His visit comes less than a year after he drew a line under a year-long diplomatic crisis by reversing decades of neutrality in the Western Sahara conflict to back Morocco’s position.

But Sánchez has faced criticism from both the left and right for the concession to Morocco, including from his administration’s number three, Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz of the hard-left Podemos party.

She has declined to join this week’s trip, in line with her party’s rejection of Sánchez’s “unilateral” U-turn on Western Sahara.

Spain’s right-wing opposition has also slammed Sánchez over the policy, with González Pons, a member of the European Parliament from the Popular Party, saying there was “no greater humiliation than bowing to the will of Morocco”.

Sánchez has defended his move as essential for Spanish interests.

On Thursday he called for new Spanish investments in Morocco, where his country is already the third-biggest foreign investor.

Investment deals

Around 20 deals were signed on Thursday to boost Spanish investments in everything from renewable energy to education, as well as doubling Spanish state support for firms setting up projects there.

Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch said the two countries “want to establish a new economic partnership in the service of development”.

The crisis between Rabat and Madrid had begun in 2021 when Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front which seeks independence for Western Sahara, was treated for Covid-19 in a Spanish hospital.

Weeks later, more than 10,000 migrants surged into Spain’s tiny Ceuta enclave as Moroccan border forces looked the other way, an incident seen as a Moroccan move to punish Madrid.

In March last year, Madrid announced a “new stage” in relations and said it backed the North African kingdom’s plan for the Western Sahara of limited autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty.

The following month, Sánchez paid a high-profile visit to Morocco and was hosted by King Mohammed VI.

The Spanish premier came under renewed fire this week for holding a high-level visit to Morocco without being hosted by the monarch.

Conservative newspaper El Mundo said the king “had shown his position of strength by standing Sánchez up”.

However, King Mohammed did this week invite the Spanish premier for a higher-profile state visit in the near future to “reinforce the positive dynamic” in their ties, according to a palace statement.

‘Honeymoon’

Cooperation over clandestine migration and terrorism is also high on the agenda during Sánchez’s visit.

After resuming cooperation with the kingdom, Spain said arrivals of irregular migrants on its territory from Morocco were down by a quarter last year compared with 2021.

Both countries faced criticism from human rights groups after at least 23 migrants died during a mass attempt to enter the Melilla enclave in June 2022.

Spain’s Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska is set to ask his Moroccan counterpart Abdelouafi Laftit to return deportations of irregular migrants to pre-Covid levels, according to a ministry official.

The visit comes as the European Parliament lifts the immunity of two lawmakers targeted in a Belgian probe into suspected bribery linked to Morocco as well as Qatar.

Morocco has staunchly denied any wrongdoing, but the investigation by Belgian police has sparked tensions between key European states and the North African kingdom.

Moroccan politicians and media have accused France, a staunch ally of the kingdom, of “orchestrating” a European Parliament resolution critical of Morocco’s treatment of the press.

“There’s a honeymoon between Rabat and Madrid, and a cold crisis” between Rabat and Paris, French-Moroccan journalist Mustapha Tossa wrote on news website Atlasinfo.

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