EU in Crisis – Span’s workers plan strike
The largest trade unions in Spain are planning a strike in protest of announced 5% cuts in public sector pay, starting this month. Public development investment will also be cut back, in an attempt to combat a budget deficit of over 11%.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Roriguez Sapatero announced the cuts in May, just months after saying that Spain would be impervious to the economic crisis that first received coverage in Greece, due to mass strikes and protests there.
The 16 member European Union is facing its biggest test since formation. Uncontrolled spending and poor money management has seen the Euro in a free fall, hitting new lows every day, while many countries, including Germany announcing just this Monday, implementation of budget cuts in an effort to stem the tide.
Global Whisperer’s Take:
All is not lost for the EU. The process that began in Greece and with the IMF bailout is a needed adjustment. The positive side of the situation allows for governments to take a closer look at spending, trim the fat and only spend on social and developmental programs that are essential. The downside is unfortunately the public sector that takes the hit. Unions will always cause uproar over cut wages, but maintaining an actual livable wage is part of the very reason unions have been formed and have become a champion of the people, a strong voice against the already rallied forces of corporations. The EU can still rebound, emerging stronger and wiser having weathered this crisis.