Spain Votes in Snap General Elections

World | November 20, 2011, Sunday // 10:33|  views

In May, 2011, Spain's ruling Socialist party was defeated in local and regional elections by the center-right Popular Party (PP). Photo by

Early general elections are being held Sunday in Spain, in anticipation of a new conservative cabinet.

At the end of July Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero - who is not standing for re-election – announced November 20th as election day over the serious economic and financial crisis shaking the country. Zapatero has led Spain since 2004.

Opinion polls give the center-right Popular Party (PP), chaired by Mariano Rajoy Brey, a clear lead over the governing Socialist Party. Brey has won support by promising to deal with economic problems.

Spain is among the European countries the most affected by the crisis along with Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Italy.

In October, the Standard & Poor's rating agency lowered the country's long-term credit rating from AA to AA- with negative forecast while Fitch lowered it from AA+ to AA-.

The most recent mass protests of "The Indignants" movement were held in Madrid just a week before Spaniards are going to the polls.

The demonstrators rally against bankers, financiers and politicians for what they see as corporate greed and government cuts of wages and social benefits and high unemployment rate.

The "Indignants" protests first took place in May in Madrid Spain and later spread to Europe, before reaching in September the center of global capitalism on Wall Street.

Despite hopes for a new rule, Spaniards are bracing themselves for a new wave of spending cuts and far deeper austerity, BBC reports.

Voting to elect 350 members of Parliament and 208 senators is due to start at 09:00 (08:00 GMT) Sunday.

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Tags: elections, PP, Socialist Party, Zapatero, Spain, protests, unemployment, Indignants, credit, rating, crisis


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