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Spain prepares for historic general election

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 01:32

Ballot boxes are set up at polling stations around Spain as the country prepares for an uncertain general election on Sunday. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Preparations are underway in Spain ahead of Sunday's general election, seen by many as the most uncertain in 40 years of democracy. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's People's Party is leading in the polls over the Socialist Party, but the emergence of two new parties is throwing any chance of a majority into jeopardy. On the streets of Madrid, some see this as a major obstacle. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ECONOMIST, SANDRA PRIETO, SAYING: "The way things are, there are many unhappy people, others who are happy, but regardless whoever is elected, they will have to come to agreements amongst different parties and that, I don't think, is very positive." The two new parties - the leftist, anti-austerity Podemos Party and the centrist, business friendly Ciudadanos - both hope to redraw the political landscape and end the bipartisan system. Whoever wins will face a sputtering economy. Spain's unemployment rate hovers above 20 percent. A growing independence movement in Catalonia is also problematic. Catalans see Rajoy's refusal to allow a referendum as a means of repressing them. SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RETIRED VOTER FROM CATALONIA, TERESA MARTOREL, SAYING: "It's always, 'No, no, no.' I hope there's a change and, if in Madrid they also change that's perfect because maybe we will be able to negotiate. So far they have only repressed us." Polls will open in Spain at 9 a.m. local time on Sunday.

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Spain prepares for historic general election

Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 01:32