Justice officials in Spain have staged a 24-hour walkout in protest at government cost-cutting measures they say will limit access to justice and reduce the quality of the service they provide.
An estimated ten thousand hearings have had to be cancelled.
It came on the same day as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s first state-of-the-nation speech to parliament.
“I won’t say that it has been an easy path because it has not, it was neither easy nor pleasant.” he told the chamber, “I only will say one thing: those who watch us from beyond our borders had no faith in our country just one year ago, but these days nobody thinks Spain won’t be able to get the recovery of this crisis.”Opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said with six million unemployed and an economy predicted to remain in recession, Rajoy should go.
“For me, there is an economic crisis, a social and political one and now a moral one has been added. That’s why I asked you to resign and hand over the reins to another prime minister, because I think it’s the best for Spain”.
Meanwhile, on the streets, the protests continue.
This Friday, the European Commission will publish updated economic forecasts for its 27 member states. Spain is expected to be one of the countries given some leeway in return for strong commitment to structural reforms.