A People’s Party senator in Spain has blamed the country’s enormous debt on “subsidies for NGOs and homosexuals”, according to the Local. Senator Luz Elena Sanín made the claim about the £800bn debt to a journalist from La Vanguardia.
Colombian-born Sanin said conservatives at the governing People’s Party were forced to repay debts because of subsidies to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community. She claimed the debts were run up by the socialist government of Jose Zapetero which lost power in 2011.
Her comments have been met with staunch opposition from members of Spain’s Socialist Party and LGBT groups, who have described her words as a “breeding ground for homophobia”. However, her comments are thought to be an indication of how the socialist government wasted money on subsidies on minority groups, rather than a literal attempt to blame the LGBT community.
Sanin outspoken pronouncement has led to a serious debate in Spain about the cause of the debt. Socialist MP Patricia Hernández told online daily El Plural: “It’s absurd and ludicrous. All it does is denote the PP senator’s homophobia, this is what she thinks the socialists’ financial inheritance is”.
Francisco Márquez MP said: “I don’t agree at all that Zapatero’s feeble economic management was caused by subsidies offered to gay, lesbian and transsexual groups,” he continued “they’re organisations that work for just and legitimate causes and receive subsidies based on current legislation.”
The economic crisis hit Spain much harder than many other European Countries. In addition to the debt unemployment is running at 25 percent and King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son amidst claims he felt he was too old to help solve the crisis.