Spanish PM defends year of austerity amid protests



JORGE SAINZ | Associated Press

Published — Wednesday 19 December 2012

Last update 18 December 2012 9:49 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MADRID: Spain’s prime minister defended his conservative government’s imposition of austerity measures during its first year in power on Monday, even as thousands of people hit the streets to protest government spending cuts.
Spain, with 25 percent unemployment, is battling to reduce its deficit and emerge from its second recession in three years, and Mariano Rajoy said 2012 will be remembered as the year in which the foundations for the country’s recovery were placed.
“There are no easy answers for difficult situations, (but) we are trying because it is our obligation to rectify this situation,” the prime minister said, adding that he expected the economy to improve during the coming year.
Since ousting the socialists in elections last year, Rajoy’s government has raised taxes, slashed the budget for health care and education, and reduced pensions, among other tough measures.
Late Monday, demonstrations against the government’s painful policies were held in 55 Spanish cities. But the number of protesters fell well short of the hundreds of thousands the country’s labor unions had called upon to show up.
“The country needs to educate and care for its citizens if it wants to move forward,” said Nacho de la Torre, a 35-year-old topographer marching in Madrid’s city center. “I’m not saying we mustn’t save, but with these cuts we are mortgaging the future of people with education and training who have to go abroad because here there are no jobs.”
Spain has seen several major protests since the beginning of its economic downturn.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Traffic Department has denied that it is introducing new license plates for cars.It said hackers posted pictures of the supposedly new license plates on its Twitter account on Sunday. The department said the news, which went viral,...
JEDDAH: The Al-Haramain Train project is described as the largest public transportation project in the Middle East. This vital and strategic project is one of the implementation schemes of the mass expansion of the Saudi railway across the country.Th...
JEDDAH: The number of marriages between expatriates and Saudis has dropped 84 percent to 1,928 since the start of this Islamic year that began on Oct. 24, compared to the same period the previous year.The Ministry of Justice said that there were 12,0...
JEDDAH: Unofficial marriage is a refuge for a divorced mother to lead a married life while keeping her children in her custody but without the knowledge of the former husband who could demand the custody of the children if he learned about the ex-wif...
JEDDAH: Makkah’s health department has set up a committee to verify the sick leave certificates of employees.The department stated it would apply government regulations on sick leave, which includes people providing the address of the facilities wher...
RIYADH: The directorate of roads and transport has registered 20 cases of violations worth SR24,500 in Al-Qassim, where the transport ministry continued its surveillance drive against the companies in the transport business.According to the directora...
RIYADH: The implementation of an integrated health plan to combat MERS has resulted in a sharp drop in cases, with only one out of 736 samples testing positive for the contagion in the Kingdom in the last six days. Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khal...
RIYADH: Muslims must cut traditionally high electricity use during Ramadan in line with the principles of austerity and self-control they are supposed to adopt in this month, economists say.Economist Al-Sadeq Idris said energy use increases during Ra...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry will begin next Tuesday to check whether companies are complying with new laws requiring them to place proper price labels on all their products.It is mandatory for companies to stop using phrases such as...
RIYADH: Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh Al-Asheikh chaired the first meeting with Yemeni scholars to exchange ideas on how to strengthen their role in restoring peace in their country.The first Saudi-Yemen scholars meeting, dubbed the “outreach sch...
RIYADH: To cope with the growing number of applicants (boys and girls) at technical colleges that reached 126,023 last year, a state-run organization launched an online unified portal to ease the enrolment procedures.According to the Technical and V...
RIYADH: A senior government official from Dhaka, who visited Riyadh last week, has sorted out technical issues to expedite issuing 1.5 million machine readable passports (MRP) to Bangladeshi expatriates in the Kingdom. Information and Communication T...
JEDDAH: Jeddah municipality is keen to provide health and food security to residents and visitors of the city, and they are continually conducting inspections of food stores, restaurants, markets and food storage facilities to avoid any violations by...
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has been awarded a top international prize for his contribution to the propagation of the Qur’an.He was named the “Islamic Personality of the Year” by the Holy Qur’an International Memorization Or...
JEDDAH: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier, minister of defense and chairman of the Economic Affairs and Development Council, held a meeting in Jeddah on Monday with Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, deputy national security advis...

Stay Connected

Facebook