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Spain's king urges 'determination' as ministers plan more austerity

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Spain's king urges 'determination' as ministers plan more austerity

Spain's king urges 'determination' as ministers plan more austerity
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Public service workers took to the streets of Madrid on Friday to protest wage cuts, as the Spanish government prepared to approve a multi-billion euro savings plan.

Several hundred demonstrators took part in the action, briefly blocking traffic.

King Juan Carlos urged government ministers to consider the needs of everyone, as they seek to turn around the country’s economic fortunes.

He said Spain was facing difficult conditions, which required “great firmness and determination”.

The 65 billion euro savings drive includes a hike in value added tax, salary cuts for government worker and a reduction in unemployment benefits.

Spain’s overall jobless total stands at just over 24 percent, with more than half of young people out of work.

The austerity measures have been demanded by Brussels in exchange for relaxed deficit-cutting goals, but the price – analysts warn – could be a biting recession for the next two years.