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Spanish austerity plan backed by only one vote

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Spanish austerity plan backed by only one vote


There is relief for Spain’s Socialist government, after parliament backed it’s 15 billion euro austerity plan.

But it was the closest of calls. The motion was carried by only one vote, with 169 deputies in favour, 168 against and 13 abstentions.

A defeat would have been a blow for the Zapatero government. The programme is aimed at reducing the deficit of 11% of GDP to 6% by 2011.

Civil servants are facing wage cuts of 5% or more, and there will be significant cutbacks in public investment plans.

Spain moved out of recession in the first quarter of this year.

However, many fear the effects this austerity package will have on the economy. Unemployment is currently running at 20 percent, twice the eurozone average.

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