Spain prepares for general elections

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2011 8:32 AM
Spain prepares for general elections

More than 34 million Spanish voters are gearing up for general elections likely to oust the Socialists in favor of the conservative Popular Party by observing a day of reflection free of electioneering events.

A gathering planned by "indignant" protesters angry at austerity measures, high unemployment and politicians they consider inept attracted few participants at Madrid's downtown Puerta del Sol on Saturday.

Voting to elect 350 members of Parliament and 208 senators begins 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) Sunday.

A near two-year recession has burdened the country with a euro-zone high 21.5 percent unemployment rate and a budget deficit.

Spain's key borrowing rate rose above 6 percent for five day running this week, just 1 percent below a rate considered unsustainable.