Europe

Spanish Conservatives Claim Victory in Election

Conservative Popular Party candidate Mariano Rajoy waves after voting at a voting station in Madrid, Sunday Nov, 20, 2011.

Conservative Popular Party candidate Mariano Rajoy waves after voting at a voting station in Madrid, Sunday Nov, 20, 2011.  (AP)

Spain's opposition conservatives have declared victory in a general election marked by staggering unemployment and Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

With 75 percent of the votes counted Sunday, the center-right Popular Party had 187 seats in the 350-seat lower chamber of parliament, while in the outgoing one it had 154.

Party secretary general Dolores de Cospedal said this was the biggest majority in her party's history. The outgoing Socialists, overseeing a 21.5 jobless rate, had 109 seats, dropping from 169.