There were demonstrations in several of Spain’s major cities on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of unionised workers took to the streets in places including Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia. They were angry at plans to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67.
Speaking at one of the protests in Madrid, Fernandez Toxo, head of the workers’ commission CCOO said: “This is the response to the government’s aggression in relation to its proposals regarding pensions.”
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is trying to reign in public spending in the euro-zone country. Speaking alongside EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, he defended the tough decisions: “To those that don’t think the way we do, I have to say that this is a Government that listens. This Government has never acted by issuing strong decrees, and never will, concerning the job market.”
Spain is one of the countries in the eurozone under pressure to cut huge budget deficits and restore economic competitiveness. Zapatero has announced 50 billion euros in government savings.
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