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A close call as Spain prepares for regional poll

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A close call as Spain prepares for regional poll


A day before the Basque region in Spain goes to the polls, the head of the regional government there is urging people not to spoil their ballots. Juan Jose Ibarretxe, head of the ruling PNV party, says only those who vote have the power to change things.

The Spanish prime minister, has been lending his support to the Socialist candidate, Paxi Lopez, who is said to be running neck and neck with Ibarretxe. The vote comes as Spain struggles with the financial crisis, and persistent violence by the armed separatist group ETA. Two political parties accused of links to ETA have been banned from the election. Voting is also taking place in the northwestern region of Galicia. This is the home region of Spanish conservative leader Mariano Rahoy, and he has been campaigning in the area. The Socialists are trying to hold on to power here. They were voted in in 2005 after many years of rule by Rahoy’s People’s Party.

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