Brazil on Wednesday lashed out at a demand by former European leaders for disgraced ex-president Lula da Silva to be allowed to take part in elections this year. A group of former EU left leaning leaders, including French ex-president Francois Holland and Spanish former prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, called Lula's imprisonment for corruption hurried and said he should be free to present himself before Brazilian voters.
Addressing the OAS Permanent Council, former Spanish president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that reconciliation is an indispensable and essential challenge to overcome the current confrontation situation in Venezuela, and although it will be a long, difficult process, he recommends dialogue efforts should continue.
The Basque separatist group ETA says it has called a definitive cessation to its campaign of bombings and shootings. In a statement provided to the BBC, Eta called on the Spanish and French governments to respond with a process of direct dialogue.
Fitch cut on Friday Italy's sovereign credit rating by one notch and Spain's by two, citing a worsening of the Euro zone debt crisis and a risk of fiscal slippage in both countries. Fitch cut Italy's rating to A+ from AA- and lowered Spain to AA- from AA+.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero dissolved parliament on Monday, but pledged more measures to tackle Spain's economic crisis before a November election that is expected to hand power to the conservative opposition.
Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez emphasized this week the growing relevance of Spain in Latin America, where Spanish firms have made 130 billion Euros worth of investments.
Financial market pressure on Italy intensified on Tuesday, sucking Europe's second biggest debtor nation deeper into the Euro area danger zone and prompting emergency consultations in Rome and among European capitals.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced Friday an early general election in November, four months early than scheduled, looking to capitalize on a slight upturn in opinion poll ratings.
Spain's ruling Socialist Party sustained heavy losses in municipal elections on Sunday, amid widespread protests against high unemployment. The conservative People's Party (PP) took 37.5% of the vote compared with almost 28% for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's PSOE, with more than 90% of votes counted.
Tens of thousands of Spaniards angry over unemployment protested for a sixth day, ahead of Sunday's local elections in which the ruling Socialists are expected to suffer heavy losses.