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Spaniards Protest Against Joblessness, Weak Economy

People make a camp in Sol square during a demonstration in Madrid, Spain, May 18, 2011.

Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Madrid and other cities across Spain to protest against the country's weak economy and high jobless rate ahead of Sunday's local and regional elections.

The mostly peaceful demonstrations were largely organized through social media such as Twitter. Many of the protesters are young, with the jobless rate for those under the age of 25 at nearly 45 percent. They say they are tired of the unemployment and corruption among politicians.

Recent polls have predicted large losses for the ruling Socialist Party, as voters express anger over austerity measures and the government's handling of the economic crisis.

The opposition Popular Party is expected to make major gains on Sunday, which could lead to a return to power in general elections due by next March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.