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Monarchy drops behind army, media as admired institution

Optimism drops one month before the elections, finds CIS survey

For the first time, the monarchy no longer figures in first place among the institutions Spaniards consider the most respected in their country. The latest CIS poll shows that monarchy has fallen behind armed forces and the media and is now considered Spain's third most admired institution.

The Center of Sociological Investigations' survey taken for October also shows that terrorism for the second month in a row is the least of the Spaniards' worries. The survey was taken before ETA's pledge to lay down its arms. Both the monarchy and the terrorism have traditionally fared well in the past polls in categories where people are asked what they considered are the most valued institution and principle of their worries.

Unemployment remains the country's biggest concern followed by Spain's ongoing financial problems. On the political scene, 16.7 percent believe that the government will improve this year - just slightly one percent down from the previous CIS poll - demonstrating there is less optimism one month before the general elections.

More than 65 percent believe that the current government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has done a bad job. Nevertheless, 60 percent say that the Popular Party (PP) has also performed badly as an opposition force.