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Government employees demonstrate against wage cuts

Unease as Spanish government approves 5% reduction in public wage bill

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21 May 2010 04:27 AM

by

Sergio Uceda
Over 5,000 public employees protested this week in the four Catalan provincial capitals against the cut in public wages approved by the Spanish government in their drive to reduce the Spanish deficit by around 15 billion euros.
The demonstrations were organized by the two main trade unions, CCOO and UGT, although other smaller unions for the police, doctors and teachers joined the protests as well. The unions want to go through these measures with the government to see if they can be withdrawn. If that doesn’t happen, they will threaten with a general strike on the 8th of June. The CCOO and UGT Catalan general secretaries, Joan Carles Gallego and Josep Maria Álvarez, say that these measures won’t solve the crisis and could even hold back economic growth.
 
The Spanish government approved measures this week to reduce public wages by about 5% for 2010 and to freeze them in 2011. Zapatero also pushed through measures to freeze pensions, to reducing Official development assistance by 600 million euros and to cut public investment by 6 billion euros as well as 1.2 billion euros of public investment in the autonomous communities. The purpose of these measures is to reduce the Spanish deficit, which stood at 11.4% in 2009. Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund have applauded these measures.

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  • Demonstration in Tarragona

  • Demonstration in Tarragona
UGT Catalan general secretary, Josep Maria Álvarez, says that the public wage cut won't solve the deficit