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Spain's opposition leads Socialist government in latest poll

Thu 5th Aug 2010

The Popular Party (P.P.)would score a resounding victory over the ruling Socialist Party (POSE) if a general election was to be held now, according to a poll published yesterday.

The poll conducted by the state-financed pollster CIS gave the PP a 6.3 percent lead over the PSOE with 41.2 percent of the vote, opposed to 34.9 percent for the Socialists.

In order to weather the euro-zone debt crisis and win financial support, the ruling PSOE has been forced to cut back on public spending, reduce the salaries of public employees and freeze pensions.

Moreover, the government was forced last week to push through an unpopular labor reform bill, for which no political party showed support.

The workers'union has called for a general strike this September to protest the new law, which would make it easier for employers to dismiss workers and pay them less compensation.

Though voter confidence for the government is facing a downturn, the PP hasn't made the most of the situation, and it only gained a 1.7 percent rise in the poll.

The poll also showed a sense of deep dissatisfaction with the country's political leadership, with no party leader scoring as many as four points out of a full mark of 10.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who was rated 3.48, was ahead of PP leader Mariano Rajoy, who scored 3.18.

The poll, which queried 2,472 people from July 15-22 was the first since the Spanish government adopted austerity measures in late May.

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