Rajoy's first task: To get rid of the Tripartite Forum

The first thing Rajoy will do if the Partido Popular wins the Spanish general election is to get rid of the Tripartite Forum.

That is what member of the European Parliament Gerardo Galeote said when taking part in the PP's election campaign in Cordoba.

He speaks of 'indignity' when referring to the Tripartite Forum. It should have not been created, giving the Gibraltarian authorities equal status to Britain and Spain.

Besides, it is a forum that goes against Spanish foreign policy, he added.

What the PP wants, he said, is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will defend the interests of the country in a firm way before its European partners, and keeping Ceuta and Melilla Spanish.

This latest statement of intent by the PP is in accordance with what different senior spokesmen have been saying. They are promulgating what is said in their election manifesto.


Meanwhile, the second televised debate between Rajoy and Zapatero takes place tonight. It is thought it could be decisive in making the undecided go in one direction or the other.

It is also important to stir the electorate and get supporters out to vote.

In the first debate last Monday, Rajoy was far more aggressive than Zapatero who appeared subdued, as observers have been pointing out.

So far Gibraltar has not been an election issue, even if the standpoints of either party clash. The PSOE will want to keep the Tripartite Forum in place while the PP, as they keep saying, will want to get rid of it in its present form.

Of course, there are references to Gibraltar in election meetings, especially in Andalucia, but the fact that it is not a major topic is because in Spain today there are more problems to think about.