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Opposition leader heads to Argentina

Published on 18/12/2007

13 December 2007

MADRID – Mariano Rajoy, the leader of Spain’s main opposition Popular Party, will arrive in Argentina today looking to garner the votes of Spanish emigrants ahead of the general election next March.

The PP is hoping that the four-day tour of Argentina and Uruguay will help build support for the party from the around 300,000 registered Spanish voters spread across the two countries, most of whom hail from Rajoy’s native Galicia region.

The visit will also give the conservative leader an opportunity to meet with recently elected Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who took office on Monday. In particular, Rajoy is expected to discuss Spain’s business interests in the country. The visit, which will last until Sunday, comes as the PP ratchets up its campaigning at home.

Speaking Wednesday at a conference on the PP’s social and labour policy, Rajoy promised to increase widowers’ pensions by EUR 150 a month and said that minimum pensions would be raised by "up to" that amount, putting both at around EUR 650 per month. At present, most people on these pensions receive around EUR 490 per month.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ A. EATWELL 2007]

Subject: Spanish news