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Economy set to Spain's election battleground

Economy set to Spain's election battleground
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Spain’s ruling Socialist party has been setting out its stall for a second term in March’s general elections. Polls indicate Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is as popular as ever and he closed the party’s conference with a promise that he no doubt hopes will boost his ratings even further.

“I want to give eligible workers and pensioners 400 euros to demonstrate that saving money is very good,” he said.

The Socialist leader also made it clear that the election will be fought over the economy, welfare and sustainable development. But the opposition conservative Popular Party, which also held its campaign conference over the weekend, says the government is responsible for rising inflation and signs that Spain’s decade long housing boom is over.

Polls suggest support for its leader, Mariano Rajoy, has slipped however following his attacks on the government’s efforts to end violence in the Basque country.