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BBC's Joanne Episcopo in Madrid
"Mr Aznar's made the right-wing respectable in Spain"
 real 28k

The BBC's Orla Guerin
"An army of Aznar supporters on the streets"
 real 28k

Monday, 13 March, 2000, 03:31 GMT
Aznar's victory speech - in full
Popular party HQ
Taking the applause at party headquarters in Madrid
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar addressed his supporters after his sweeping election victory. His speech from Popular Party headquarters in central Madrid was carried live by Spanish TV.

"Good evening! May I ask you for a few minutes of attention, please? I want my first words and thoughts on this evening of joy to be for all the people of Spain [cheers].

For all the people of Spain, who have once again contributed to the improvement of our democracy, and have once again contributed to, and made possible, a great fiesta of democracy in Spain [cheers, chants of "Matador! Matador!"].

The people of Spain have generously renewed and increased their trust in us.

I want to thank everyone, everyone who has taken part in this fiesta of democracy, and everyone who voted for us. And I want to express my respect for, and call on everyone to respect, those Spaniards who decided to vote, and place their trust in, other options [cheers]. But I want to tell you that today, very especially, my words, my heart also remember those who cannot be with us because they gave their lives for freedom and democracy in Spain [big cheer - reference to victims of ETA].

Now, more than ever, we must be aware that - [interrupted by cheers of "oe, oe, oe, oe y viva Espana!"] now we must all work together and every form of help is needed.

Dialogue

I appeal particularly for responsibility and tell all of you here, and all Spaniards, that the stance of the next government, as it has been throughout these four years, will be a stance that is open to dialogue, to dialogue with the political forces, to dialogue with the unions and employers, to ongoing dialogue with the whole of Spanish society, with every group, because we are all needed for Spain to make progress [cheers].

Popular Party headquarters in Madrid
The prime minister and his wife Ana Botella
I want to offer completely open cooperation to ensure that political dialogue, social dialogue and the need to work together for major agreements on the vital issues for our country continue to be the very substance and magnificent living proof of what good democracy ought to be in our country [cheers].

Tonight particularly, I make this offer on the basis of respect and consideration for all - an offer of dialogue, agreements and efforts to find the most wide-ranging points of agreement with the aim of making this open country, this diverse country, this country that wants to move forward, and is capable of achieving the biggest goals, the reality of Spain in the next few years.

Now you will allow me to address you [the crowd] in particular and tell you something which I don't know if you have worked out yet: We have won the election! [huge prolonged cheers]

Hopes and dreams

Spaniards have been very generous with us, and we shall be able to show our gratitude with our work, our effort and our dedication, and reciprocate this confidence and generosity which Spain has placed in us.

Allow me to tell you that I feel proud of you [cheers]. I feel proud to represent a major centrist political project for the whole of Spain [cheers].

I feel proud that you have run a clean and exemplary election campaign [cheers]. I feel proud that we have ended many years of efforts and sacrifices with a night of joy [cheers].

Today, more than ever, we can say that we have seen many of the dreams we had for so many years, become a reality. But the most important hopes and dreams, and the most important aims, are the work we Spaniards still have to complete over the next few years.

The most important thing is to continue to trust, back and believe in an optimistic country, a vibrant country, a country that is moving forward, a country that wants to win itself a future; the most important thing is to continue to trust in the great, diverse country that is Spain. Thank you."

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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12 Mar 00 | Europe
In pictures: Spain at the polls

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