Prime Minister Gonzalez charts his moderate Socialist course for Spain
As in other European countries, the major problems facing Spain's new Socialist government are economic ones.
With inflation and unemployment running at about 15 percent, Felipe Gonzalez faces the difficult task of trying to reconcile realistic economic policies with promises of creating 800,000 new jobs in four years.
Mr. Gonzalez, who presented his government's program in an hour-long speech to Parliament Nov. 30, will head the first Socialist government since the 1936- 39 civil war.
In his first address to Parliament, Gonzalez outlined the generally moderate lines of the Socialist policy presented during the electoral campaign. A moderate economic platform was compensated by firm promises of fighting against social injustices, improvements in social welfare, and reforms in public administration to improve efficiency and eliminate corruption.
The main objectives of the new Socialist government, Gonzalez said, will be social peace, national unity, and progress. Progress included the fight against the general economic crisis and reduction of unemployment, advances in social freedom, equality of opportunities, the reform of public administration, and finally a meaningful foreign policy that will give Spain a ''worthy role in the world.''
Conflicts between traditional Socialist policies and the necessity for moderate compromises due to the economic recession and the threat of another coup will probably be held in check under Gonzalez' leadership. But some Spanish analysts point to the possibility of a future rift between the Gonzalez Cabinet, which is heavy with Social Democratic ''aristocrats'' from well-to-do families, and Alfonso Guerra, who represents the ''meritocracy,'' or Socialist leaders from middle-class or more humble family origins.
Already there has been some conflict within the party. The Cabinet chosen by Mr. Gonzalez has been termed ''too moderate'' by several Socialist leaders. And Mr. Guerra, who generally has represented a more radical position, in fact delayed for a week his decision to become the deputy prime minister. Although the Socialists have argued the need for reforms in military legislation, in the ministries of defense and the interior, the Socialists will be walking on eggs. Felipe Gonzalez has apparently come to the conclusion that the main goal in the defense and interior ministries will not be to implement socialist reforms, but rather simply democratic reforms, common to other European countries, according to analysts here.
After the aborted coup last year, Spanish Socialists, in addition to most other political parties, stated that what is most important is to consolidate democracy, ''then we can start talking about reforms later,'' said a Socialist defense expert.
Nevertheless, the Spanish Socialists may be able to win some sympathy from the armed forces if they can demonstrate a little success in combating terrorism , the main justification for a coup from right-wing military factions. France has already promised collaboration, which is considered to be half the battle.
In order to gain some confidence from the armed forces, the Socialists may also place more emphasis on nationalistic issues. Gonzalez's Nov. 30 parliamentary address mentioned the emotional Gibraltar question and reaffirmed his intention to regain the Rock through negotiations with Britain.
Mr. Gonzalez affirmed that Spain belongs to the Western world but repeated campaign promises of the ''right to determine our sovereignty and way of contributing to the defense of the West.'' He also reaffirmed his intention to ''examine'' the bilateral defense agreement with the United States and renegotiate it if necessary in addition to freezing Spain's entrance to NATO.