Spanish Government approves €15bn austerity plan

| May 21, 2010 | 0 Comments
Spanish Government approves €15bn austerity plan

Spain’s Government has passed the €15 billion (£13 billion) austerity plan, which has been implemented to deal with the country’s deficit, which is currently 11% of GDP.

Spain aims to reduce the deficit to 6% by 2011, which involves a 5% cut for civil servants.

Deputy Prime Minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez De la Vega, acknowledged that approving the measures, which must still be passed by parliament, “has not been an easy decision to take” but the government “is also aware that it is not easy to accept.”

“We are confident of the understanding of all because these are necessary and essential measures which a responsible government had to face while thinking of the future of all,” she told a news conference.

However, like tough austerity measures introduced in Greece, they have angered workers.

Greek workers have staged strikes across the country which led to three deaths in Athens earlier this month after protesters set fire to a bank and it is understood that Spain’s two biggest unions, the CCOO and the UGT, are to stage a walkout on June 2 and have threatened to call a general strike to protest against austerity measures.

Meanwhile, it recently emerged that the Spanish economy had finally exited recession after experiencing growth of just 0.1% in the first quarter of 2010, ending a run of seven consecutive quarters of contraction.

However, unemployment remains high in the country with the jobless rate just over the 20% mark.

Spain’s jobless rate is double the 10% for the euro zone as a whole with the total number of jobless in the country at 4.61 million.

The economy has been hit by a severe slump within its key construction industry, which has led to a significant amount of job losses.

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