reasons for poor economy in spain?
what where the four reasons for the poor economy in spain?
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MADRID (Reuters) - Second-term leaders often turn a greater part of their energy to foreign policy. If Spain's Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is returned for another term in Sunday's election, it's a luxury he is unlikely to have.
For all the satisfaction in Spain over its rise up the ranks of European economies, its foreign policy remains in the second tier, and a grim economic outlook makes it likely to stay there.
The Socialist Zapatero kicked off his time in government in 2004 with a bold foreign policy move, pulling Spanish troops out of Iraq and loosening the close alliance with the United States fostered by his conservative predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar.
But, in terms of foreign policy impact, that has been about it from Zapatero.
With the economy hit by a steep decline in the housing market after 14 years of boom, there seems little chance the next prime minister will suddenly find time for foreign affairs.
Even close aides admit Zapatero has shown little interest in what goes on outside a nation that is increasingly cosmopolitan, but was long focused on gaining acceptance to the European Union after decades of isolation and economic backwardness.
"I would say that Spain punches below its weight," said Charles Grant, of the Centre for European Reform in London, comparing the influence of the euro zone's fourth-biggest economy to that of "some of the more important small countries like, say, the Netherlands or Sweden."
On big issues, Spain usually follows the heavyweights France and Germany, although it broke ranks last month by rejecting Kosovo's declaration of independence, which it feared would set a precedent for separatists in the Basque Country and Catalonia. Continued...