SPAIN: Once she was the darling of her party, a political wife who outshone her husband, the rightwing Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, in charisma, popular appeal and glamour.
But now that Ms Ana Botella has launched her own political career, she has been accused of showing ultra-conservative tendencies that threaten to turn her into a liability to her husband's People's party. Mr Aznar's wife provided the biggest bang of the political season last month when she announced her candidacy for Madrid city council.
Inviting her to stand was at first considered a stroke of genius. But then her opinions came under scrutiny and revealed, said critics, just how far to the right she stood.
Gays have been the first to complain. The possibility of them adopting children in Madrid, she claimed, needed to be evaluated by "scientists", though she herself had clear opinions on their suitability.
Then she turned to immigrants, saying they were fuelling a rising crime rate and bringing "problems of insecurity". - (Guardian Service)