BUSINESS
11/20/2011 06:18 EST | Updated 01/20/2012 05:12 EST

Spain votes in general elections dominated by the country's financial crisis

MADRID - Spaniards are voting in general elections dominated by the poor state of the economy, with polls indicating a likely win for the conservative Popular Party.

Booths opened at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) with the southwestern Canary Islands lagging one hour behind in a different time zone.

Voters are casting ballots to elect 350 members of Parliament and 208 senators.

Polls have pointed to defeat for the Socialists, with Mariano Rajoy's conservative PP elected to try and steer the country from financial crisis.

Almost two years of recession have left Spain with a euro-zone high 21.5 per cent unemployment rate and a bloated budget deficit. The country's key borrowing rate rose above 6 per cent for five consecutive days last week, just one per cent below a rate considered unsustainable.