MADRID, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The campaign for the regional parliamentary elections on Oct. 21 in the Basque Country (Euskadi) and Galicia officially started on Friday in Spain.
The elections in Galicia can be seen as a judgment of the ruling Popular Party's (PP) economic policy, while the elections in Euskadi raise the question of Basque independence.
Galicia has traditionally been a stronghold for the PP, but Galicia's current President Alberto Feijoo has a weak majority of just one seat and in the 2009 election, his party received the same percentage of votes as the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Galician Nationalists (BGN).
It only needs a narrow swing to take the PP from power and offer PSOE and BNG the chance to form a coalition.
Given that Mariano Rajoy is from Galicia himself, that would be an extra blow to the prime minister's prestige.
But he will hope that the failure of the PSOE to recover from its general election defeat in November 2011 and a possible low turnout due to the current cynicism directed towards all politicians in Spain will help the PP cling to power in the region despite the crisis.
That in turn would allow Rajoy to point to Galicia as proof of public support for his policies.
In Euskadi, currently governed by the Socialist Patxi Lopez, Basque nationalism is the major question.
Lopez looks certain to lose power, but a question mark hangs over whether the big winners will be the conservative Basque Nationalist Party, PNV or the radical left wing nationalist, Bildu.
The decision by armed separatist group ETA to announce a permanent end to its campaign of violence for the independence of the Basque country means these are the first elections since 1975 to be held without the threat of terrorism, as the radical nationalist left has become increasingly aware of the need to carry its campaign through the ballot box.
The crisis shouldn't affect the PP vote in Euskadi, given that PP voters in the region are more motivated by political, rather than economic policy and the fear of a strong Basque independence movement may even force some traditional PSOE voters into supporting the PP.