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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 March, 2004, 08:08 GMT
Almodovar sue threat over 'coup'
Pedro Almodovar
Almodovar said Spain was once again a "democratic" country
Spain's outgoing ruling party has threatened to sue Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar after he accused it of planning a "coup".

The Popular Party (PP) was infuriated by the director's allegation that it planned to postpone Sunday's general election in a bid to maintain power.

"We were on the point (of having) a PP coup d'etat," Mr Almodovar told a press conference on Tuesday.

"The PP will bring a complaint before the appropriate courts," it said.

The director referred to media claims that outgoing Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar had planned to postpone the election with demonstrations outside PP headquarters in Madrid.

'Very happy'

Mr Almodovar said he was happy the party had been thrown out of office and Spain was once again a "democratic" country.

"I am very happy to begin again a life in a united and free country where democracy has returned," he said during a media presentation of his latest film Bad Education.

Four thousand PP supporters rallied outside the party's headquarters on Wednesday and denounced Almodovar's film, which deals with sexual harassment in a religious school, as an attack on the Catholic Church.

"A personality of the Spanish culture cannot accuse, without proof, the Spanish government of having tried to make a coup d'etat," said protester Alberto Abarca.

"We are not a dictatorship but a democracy."

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