Is Spain the new Greece?

#1
Spanish workers hold general strike over labour reforms
BBC News - Spanish workers hold general strike over labour reforms
Scuffles broke out between protesters and police as workers from Spain's largest unions picketed the capital's bus depot
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Spanish unions are holding a general strike to protest against labour reforms which the new government hopes will help cut unemployment.

Road, rail and air transport were all affected with domestic and European flights cut to a fraction.

Unions claimed strong support at car factories and other industrial sites but Mariano Rajoy's conservative government played down the action.

It plans to unveil measures on Friday to save tens of billions of euros.

The strike is the government's first big challenge since taking office.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police as workers from Spain's largest unions picketed at the capital's bus depot early on Thursday.

A total of 58 people were detained and nine were injured, the interior ministry said.

'Rights wiped away'

By agreement between the government and the unions, bus and rail services were kept to a minimum service while only one in 10 domestic, and one in five European, flights were able to operate.

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“
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The unions see it not just as a trial of strength but as a battle over the future of the welfare state”
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Gavin Hewitt

Europe editor

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Outside Atocha - one of Madrid's main rail stations - pickets waved red union flags and blew shrill whistles as police looked on.

One protester in Madrid, 31-year-old Angel Andrino, said he had been sacked a day after the labour reforms were approved in a decree last month.

Accompanied on a march by his parents and brother, he told the Associated Press news agency: "We are going through a really hard time, suffering.

"The rights that our parents and grandparents fought for are being wiped away without the public being consulted."

The UGT union said that participation in the strike was "massive" and that virtually all workers at Renault, Seat, Volkswagen and Ford car factories around Spain had honoured it during the shift.

Regional TV stations in Andalusia in the south, Catalonia in the north-east and Madrid were also off the air because of the strike.

With the EU's highest rate of unemployment, Spain is under pressure to reduce its budget deficit and bring its public finances under control.

"The question here is not whether the strike is honoured by many or few, but rather whether we get out of the crisis," the country's Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said.

"That is what is at stake, and the government is not going to yield."

'Record reforms'

The country's two biggest unions called the strike to demonstrate against new legislation which makes it easier and cheaper for companies to fire employees.

Protest marches are planned throughout the country during the evening.

The new legislation, approved in February, also reduces maximum severance pay to 33 days' salary for each year worked, compared with the current 45 days.

The government insists the reforms will create a more flexible system for businesses and workers, in a country with a stagnant economy that needs to start creating jobs.

Mr Rajoy, who took office in December, defended his measures on the grounds that they would eventually generate more jobs.

"No government has passed as many reforms in its first 100 days in office as this one," he said on Tuesday, speaking on a visit to South Korea.

"The biggest mistake would be to do nothing," the Spanish prime minister added.
 
#2
Not as bad as Greece - but will suffer more, I'd say as Greeece has used up pretty much all of Germany's Good Will. Spain's inability to employ anyone formally for more than 10 months at a time, coupled with it's propensity for stashing cash under the mattress won't be doing it any favours. Until recently, more than a third of all the €500 notes ever printed were in Spain...
 
#3
No, Spain has a much better football team.
 
#5
N/A I'm Scottish.
 
#7
I can safely say one things about recent online sales to buyers in Spain and that is that Buyers like to report things as "Item Not Arrived. Which leads me to believe this:

1. Every Postie in Spain is a thieving bastard!
or
2. Every buyer in Spain is a thieving bastard!

It's got so bad and repetitive that I have added Spain to my list of blocked countries, the USA being the other!
 
#8
An ex-forces friend of mine with a reasonably successful business in Spain spent today in an unlit and locked office in fear of groups of militant troublemakers. Doesn't look too good at the moment and not sure where it's going.
 
#9
Whilst the headline cities of Madrid and Barcelona etc seemed to have a lot of disruption and picket lines, here in the South there was virtually no difference whatsoever. The only things closed were the schools, transport and government offices. Banks, doctors and all shops were business as normal and the hospital seemed business as normal despite the rumours that only the emergency department would be open. There'll be more disruption over the next couple of weeks with Easter coming up than there was today. The strike was called for the reason that the Spanish government is going to make it easier to sack people. Currently, once you have a contract, you have a job for life. With 28% unemployment (and over 50% amongst the 18 to 25 year olds) those in secure jobs are afraid of joining the ever increasing dole queue.
Mind you, you'd never notice if they did go on strike around here. There are so many local and national saints days that one in favour of Santa Unions wouldn't add a great deal to the disruption.
 
#10
It looks like those stinking Jobsworths, those Kommie Kommizzar in Brussels and elsewhere will be demanding that Mr Gideon provides another One Billion Pounds Sterling of Tax Payers cash to be funneled into the IMF to be used for further bailouts of the Eurine-zone.

I Spain goes the same way as Greece and Italy, then Monsewer Van Rumpledstilstskins will be ordering his Kommizzars and Gauleiters en mass into Spain to run that state. Who is to say that the Irish Republic won't be next for Gaulieters and Kommizzar's attention.
 
#12
And you can see the normal willy-waving goes on even outside UK:
Unions said 800,000 people joined the protest in Barcelona. Police put the number at 80,000.
 
#13
And you can see the normal willy-waving goes on even outside UK:
Unions said 800,000 people joined the protest in Barcelona. Police put the number at 80,000.
Well, given that an order of magnitude obviously doesn't bother them, I can see some real scope for savings here :)
 

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