Polls in Spain dominated by economy

Polls in Spain dominated by economy

MADRID - The Associated Press

Spain held a national election yesterday, and it was expected to become the third eurozone country in as many weeks to throw out its governing party in an attempt to dig itself out of an economic crisis.

Spanish opposition leader Mariano Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party were expected to win control of Parliament in a landslide, even though Rajoy has said little about what his party would do to fight Spain’s sky-high unemployment, painful austerity measures and piles of debt.

A win for Rajoy, 56, would bring the conservatives back to power after nearly eight years of rule by Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Unlike Italy and Greece, which recently replaced their elected governments with bureaucrats in an attempt to better cope with the euro crisis, Spain will stick with an elected government. “I am ready for whatever Spaniards may want,” said Rajoy after casting his vote. Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, Rajoy’s Socialist opponent, urged his supporters not to let a low turnout reduce his party’s chances.

The winner of Sunday’s election will have little room for maneuver and will almost certainly need to continue implementing austerity measures begun by the outgoing government.