By Peter J. Smith

  MADRID, January 17, 2007 – Spain is fast becoming the most hostile place in the European Union for traditional families thanks to the aggressive anti-family policies of the Socialist government.

  Pro-family advocates are alarmed at the prejudice demonstrated by the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero against lending support to encourage traditional families and improve the birth rate at a time when Spain’s total fertility rate with Italy is the lowest in Europe  (1.28 child per woman) and far below 2.1 replacement levels.

  The Institute for Family Policy (IFP) in Spain has demanded the Zapatero government make “an immediate adjustment” in its family policies and “learn how to imitate the family policies our of [sic] European neighbors that have been successful,” especially Spain’s neighbor across the Pyrenees, France.  According to IFP president Eduardo Hertfelder, France has achieved “a level of generational replacement” and now sits “at the top of the birth rates in Europe” due to the government’s policies promoting family and childbirth.

“It’s the logical result,” Hertfelder told the Catholic News Agency, “that one gets when, first of all, there is the political will to help the family, and second, the means are put in place through different organizations and budget allocations.” Hertfelder praised France for its Ministry of the Family, which is been [sic] implementing norms and laws in support of the family during the last 20 years.

  Hertfelder  explained that the French government provides a family with three children in France with $491 a month, regardless of income, but Spain provides that family with a paltry $93 per month, and only if they are a low-income family.

“A couple in Spain would need to have 16 kids and be in a low-income bracket in order to receive the same assistance a couple with three children is eligible for in France regardless of their income,” Hertfelder said.

  Ever since coming to power in the aftermath of the 2004 Madrid Islamic terrorist train bombings, Zapatero’s government has rapidly pushed radical policies opposed to the traditional family by legalizing homosexual “marriage” and adoption in 2005, approving no-fault divorce,  liberalizing abortion laws and promoting embryonic stem-cell research.

  In March 2006, the government mandated the terms “father” and “mother” be replaced by terms like “Parent A” and “Parent B” in a new format for the Family Book (Libro de Familia). Later, the Minister of Justice issued a clarification that the traditional model was to co-exist with the new model of the family.

  That same month Spain’s general secretary for education, Alejandro Tiana, launched an attack on the rights of parents as primary educators of their children saying “the State cannot be given a subsidiary role with respect to families.” The following July Tiana announced the government was mandating schools teach the homosexual lifestyle to schoolchildren as young as 10 to emphasize the normalcy of homosexual relationships.

  In a statement representative of the feeling of the Catholic Church in Spain, Bishop of Avila Jesus Garcia Burrillo described the changes in Spain as “a violent cultural earthquake” in a 2004 pastoral letter.

“It is not easy to find in history, in such a short space of time, so many changes affecting morality [except] in time of coups d’etat.”

  See LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Spain’s Socialist-Led Descent into Darkness

  Spain to Teach Children From Age 10 to Accept Homosexuality

  Spain Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage” and Homosexual Adoption”

  First Gay ‘Marriage’ Legalized, Now Spain Bans Terms ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’”

  Spain Continues Cultural Tailspin—Abortion Rates Soar 72%”


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