"Clear road for Rubalcaba," leads La Vanguardia. Spain's Minister for the Interior is now the candidate to succeed Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero who will not stand in the general elections of March 2012. His main rival, Defence Minister Carmen Chacon, “badly hurt, is throwing in the towel" . "Zapatero has bowed to pressure from the PSOE and has dumped Chacón," the Barcelona daily continues, following the rout of the Socialists in the municipal and regional elections of 22 May, a debacle that has whipped up a storm over policy within the Socialist Party. For the newspaper's editor, José Antich, Chacón would be “the last political victim" of Zapatero, following three days during which the prime minister "risked a political epitaph of colossal dimensions: his party fractured, and forced to resign as Secretary General." A price too high, "even for a politician who has proved to have more lives than a cat." Now, the vice president and interior minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba would be “the only life jacket the socialists have" and in the best position to take over from Zapatero as the head of the Socialist candidacy, he concludes.
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