News August 2003

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Aznar to appoint successor - name on Monday, probably Rajoy

30 August. President Aznar has announced he will inform us of the name of his successor on Monday. On Tuesday the governing Partido Popular will have the chance to ratify this appointee. The most probable name, according to informed sources, is vice president Rajoy.Other changes in the cabinet are also mooted. Obviously, the Partido Popular really believes in the democratic process!

apparently, Aznar informed Rajoy, together with Arenas, party secretary and Rato second vice-president and another candidate, at luch today in the Moncloa palace. Aznar then left with Rajoy for Spain's equivalent of Camp David, a hunting lodge near Toledo.

Rajoy will probably now leave the current cabinet to concentrate on preparing the manifesto and so on for the coming elections. Josep Piqué, minister of Science and Technology and former foreign minister, is also leaving the cabinet to concentrate on the lead up to the Catalan elections in November. He is the PP's candidate to preside the 'Generalitat'. Jordi Pujol, current Catalan president, is expected to announce the election date in the coming days. More soon!

Meanwhile... the Socialist party has today concluded a major meeting to settle the disputes about regional policy. This has been a major point of conflict with the Partido Popular over the past weeks and months and it seems that the PSOE is now getting its act together as it faces the run up to next year's elections.

Sources: El Mundo, TVE