The right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy was swept into power late last year on a promise of sweeping budget cuts. But as Spanish workers strike and debt alarm bells ring in Brussels, Madrid must quickly respond to the country’s economic problems.
Spain announced plans Friday to make 27 billion euros worth of cuts in its 2012 budget, including a freeze on public workers' salaries. The austerity measures come a day after a general strike that saw violent clashes between protesters and police.
France's public deficit shrank to 5.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, official statistics agency INSEE said on Friday. The 12-month drop from 7.1 per cent of GDP in 2010 is the biggest fall on record.
Spain’s conservative government is set to unveil harsh austerity measures Friday in what may be the country’s toughest budget of the post-France era, a day after hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to back a general strike.
Spain ground to a halt during a general strike on Thursday with thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets to protest against spending cuts. In Barcelona police reportedly fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd as trouble broke out.
Spain braced itself Thursday for its first major strike since conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took office three months ago, protesting labour reforms and spending cuts the government says are needed to save the struggling economy.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti heaped blame for the eurozone debt crisis on Germany and France on Wednesday, saying they had set a poor example early in the bloc’s existence by flouting fiscal rules and exceeding deficit limits.
As countries across Europe struggle with debt, the EU is also being asked to be more frugal. Janusz Lewandowski, the EU Budget Commissioner, speaks to Douglas Herbert about his austerity plan and the tough economic climate in Europe. Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Robert Schuman Fondation, that is our partner on this programme, asks him his question.
The worst of the eurozone debt crisis is over despite lingering risks, ECB chief Mario Draghi said in an interview Thursday. Draghi said key indicators, including inflation and budget deficits, are now better than those of the United States.
Almost 86% of Greece's private creditors agreed late Thursday to the largest sovereign debt restructuring in history, with bond holders accepting losses of some 53.5% in a deal that will cut more than €100 billion from Greece's massive debt.