Spain’s efforts to bring its budget deficit under control with wage and spending cuts have sparked an angry response from the country’s two biggest unions. They said they would strike in protest.
Union leaders met Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and told him they ‘totally disagreed’ with his plan to cut public sector wages this year, freeze them next year and slash public investment spending by six billion euros.
The head of the UGT union, Cándido Méndez, said that after talking to the prime minister they were unconvinced and are completely opposed to the austerity measures.
He added “They are a sharp blow to the chances of maintaining certain levels of consumption and will lead to delays in economic recovery.”
Ignacio Fernández Toxo, the general secretary of Comisiones Obreras, said: “The prime minister has just presented the worst solution at a time when the crisis has not yet been solved, just to respond to the demands of the financial markets.”
They plan a public sector strike for the second of June affecting hospitals and schools and have threatened to call a general strike though economists said there is not widespread support for that in Spain.