am 19. Juli 2012 um 8:56h

Lot of news in Spain in the past days but the­re is no doubt that the most important one is the new packa­ge of aus­teri­ty mea­su­res (social cuts) adop­ted by the Government last Friday.

One week ago the Euro­group deci­ded to fuel up to € 100 bil­li­on to the Spa­nish ban­king sec­tor. After that the Government decla­red that the loan was not lin­ked to con­di­tio­na­li­ty except for the banks nee­ded of Euro­pean money. Nevertheless two days later the Coun­cil of Minis­ters appro­ved the most important pack of social cuts tar­ge­ted on public employees and unem­ploy­ed. I’ll try to sum­ma­ri­se the most rele­vant measures:

Public employees:

· Eli­mi­na­ti­on of the extra month’s sala­ry paid at Christ­mas (around 7’5% of annu­al sala­ry). Last year the sala­ry of public employees was fro­zen and the year befo­re was redu­ced 5’5%.

· Eli­mi­na­ti­on of three days off and “senio­ri­ty” days off. The­se days aren’t a pri­vi­le­ge of public employees as the Spa­nish Government usual­ly says but an agreed com­pen­sa­ti­on for the lack of incre­a­sing sala­ries in the last deca­des. A public employee which has been working for 30 years will loo­se 9 days off.

· 40% sala­ry reduc­tion in case of sick leave.

· Reduc­tion of union’s representatives.

· And it should be remin­ded that 150.000/ 600.000 public employees will be fired in the next months

Unem­ploy­ed: 10% reduc­tion of unem­ploy­ment bene­fit from the sixth mon­th of per­cep­ti­on (only 62% of unem­ploy­ed touch unem­ploy­ment benefits).

Incre­a­sing VAT: the Spa­nish VAT is below the EU average, it’s true. But it doesn’t seem a good idea to incre­a­se indi­rect taxes in the frame­work of decre­a­sing eco­no­mic acti­vi­ty. Fur­ther­mo­re, the VAT is coun­ter-dis­tri­bu­ti­ve and Spain is one of the most une­qual mem­ber sta­tes in the UE.

The aid for young peop­le to rent flats has been redu­ced by 30%.

On the other hand, employ­ers’ social con­tri­bu­ti­ons will be redu­ced in 2012 and 2013.

The streets are bur­ning. Spon­ta­ne­ous demons­tra­ti­ons take place ever­y­whe­re. Seni­or offi­cials or poli­ce­men join the pro­tes­ters for the first time.

Ramón Bae­za San­juán ist Pro­gramm­lei­ter für euro­päi­sche und Inter­na­tio­na­le Stu­di­en der gewerk­schafts­na­hen Fund­a­ción 1° de Mayo in Madrid. Die­ser Bei­trag erschien ursprüng­lich in sei­nem Blog „Neith­ter fies­ta nor sies­ta – Post­cards from a res­cued Spain“.


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