Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
Chapter 5: The economic policy in Spain during the decades of the 1980s and the 1990s
Jesus Ferreiro and Felipe Serrano INTRODUCTION The government of the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, PSOE) came to ofﬁce in November 1982 and left in March 1996, when the elections were won by the Partido Popular, a right-wing Christian democratic party. During those 14 years, the economic policy of the different Felipe González administrations focused on two objectives. From a macroeconomic point of view, the entire strategy focused on the control of inﬂation. The problem of mass unemployment was subordinated to this main objective. Such a strategy was coincidental with the dominant strategies implemented in other Western economies. In this chapter we shall not analyse whether the adoption of this strategy was due to an ideological change within the Socialist Party which took place after they came to power or because it was the only strategy that could be implemented effectively. It is likely that both explanations have some validity. It should not be forgotten that during this period the Socialist Party suffered serious internal conﬂicts because of the strategy of economic policy supported by members of the government. From a long-term perspective, the general orientation of its economic policy was a response to two objectives: one with an ambiguous deﬁnition and difﬁcult to measure and the other deeply rooted in the classic European social democratic tradition. The former was related to the idea of modernization, that is, of social and economic adaptation to the changes which arose as a result of...
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