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Spain adopts austerity plan

Spain adopts austerity plan
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Spain’s Parliament passed the new conservative government’s first austerity measures.

They are aimed at reducing the country’s massive deficit with almost nine billion euros of spending cuts as well as income and property tax increases.

The plan was approved by 197 deputies in the 350-seat lower house, where the ruling Popular Party has an absolute majority of 185 seats.

Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said: “These are exceptional measures for exceptional times. These are measures to recuperate the credibility of our country. These are measures to say to everyone: society, investors and our European partners, that the Spanish government has made a commitment to correct our public deficit.”

The moves include a freeze on civil servants’ salaries and on practically all government hiring.

Spain is trying to avoid being dragged further into a debt crisis that has already forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek financial bailouts.

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