Spain election: 'boring and defensive'

Nov. 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM
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MADRID, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- With record unemployment and borrowing costs, Spain's Socialist government will be replaced with conservatives in its general election, opinion polls show.

Polls indicate in Spain's general election Sunday, the conservative Popular Party will unseat the Socialist government that came to power in March 2004 in the country's attempt to deal with its version of the European debt crisis, The New York Times reported.

A springtime rally of Spain's "indignados" or indignant youth -- indignant because of 45 percent unemployment -- once generated excitement but investor concern about the survival of the eurozone has dampened the election campaign.

Voters "understand that, in such a crisis, candidates are in any case not going to make any reliable promises," said Jaime Pastor, a professor of politics at the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, calling the electoral campaign "boring and defensive."

The Times said neither of the two leading candidates on left and right explain what policy changes they would explore to pull Spain out of its 21 percent overall unemployment.

Mariano Rajoy, leader of the Popular Party, has been accused by his Socialist challenger, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba of waging a "Valium" campaign, the newspaper said.

Rajoy has said "nothing about nothing about nothing," Rubalcaba countered at a Cordoba rally last week.

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