• Short Summary

    Spanish politicians have launched a three-week campaign which will lead to general elections on March the first.

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    Spanish politicians have launched a three-week campaign which will lead to general elections on March the first. It will be the fourth national ballot since the death of General Francisco Franco three years ago. Opinion polls give the opposition Socialist party an early lead. But, not far behind is the ruling Democratic Centre Party of Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez, who has steered Spain through the post-Franco era. It was Spain's coalition of fascist parties, the National Union, that got the campaign off to a lively start.

    SYNOPSIS: National Union leader, Senor Blas Pinar, was greeted on his arrival at the Congress Palace, near Madrid, by an enthusiastic crowd which included teenagers, nuns and priests.

    Senor Pinar, a state lawyer, dismissed the ruling Centre Democrats, the Socialists and the Communists as traitors to Spain. During the meeting, his five thousand supporters gave the stiff arm Fascist salute and hailed him as "Father of the Homeland". Senor Pinar also warned foreigners to stop meddling in Spain's affairs.

    Not far away, Spain's Communist Party was holding its first public meeting of the campaign. Addressing a large crowd was the Party leader, Senor Santiago Carrillo.

    Spain's Communists are instrumental in giving the Centre Democrats a majority in Parliament. Together with the Socialists, Spain's second largest party, the Communists operated closely with the ruling party - with the object of having the country's new constitution approved.

    Many political observers believe that the results of this election will be similar to those in June, 1977. with neither the Centre Democrats nor the Socialists winning a majority, making a coalition government a possibility.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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