Unions rally against planned deficit cap rule

Labor threatens general strike as Socialists seek to heal internal wounds

EL PAÍS Madrid 29 AGO 2011 - 21:16 CET

Spain's main labor unions, CCOO and UGT, along with a number of pressure groups on Monday called for a series of protests against the plan agreed by the ruling Socialists (PSOE) and the main opposition Popular Party (PP) to include a generic obligation to balance the country's books in the Constitution as the PSOE sought to rally a divided party behind the controversial move.

The program includes a "big demonstration" in Madrid on September 6 and other protests in the rest of the country for August 31 and September 1, when Congress and the Senate are due to debate the constitutional amendment, which will be accompanied by an organic law limiting the public deficit for the central government and the regions at 0.4 percent of GDP.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday against the reform aimed at appeasing the markets, which have questioned the government's ability to service its debt.

"The objective of these demonstrations [...] is to show our rejection of the constitutional reform proposed by the PSOE and the PP, to ask that deputies and senators do not vote in favor of it in parliament, and to demand that if the proposal is approved for it to be subject to a referendum," CCOO official Ramón Górriz told a news conference.

High-ranking PSOE official Marcelino Iglesias said a referendum "would transmit uncertainty to those to whom we want to transmit certainty; namely the markets." Moody's on Monday welcomed the deficit cap as "credit positive."

The unions claim the deficit clause is an attack on the welfare state and would limit government policy making.

"The reduction in the deficit will only be achieved by undermining the economic and social fabric," Górriz said. "This is another sacrificial offer to the markets that won't serve anything."

UGT official Toni Ferrer said the unions did not rule out calling a general strike.

The proposed reform has left a number unhappy in the Socialist rank and file. The PSOE's candidate for prime minister in the general elections to be held on November 20, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, on Monday held a series of meetings at different levels of the party to muster backing for a reform he said aims to "show that Spain is a serious country."

Otras noticias

Últimas noticias

Ver todo el día

Scariolo: “El reto es encontrar recursos sin Pau en la pista”

España remata su gira de preparación rumbo al Eurobasket con pleno de victorias

La Juve, un campeón en crisis

Los bianconeri, equipo sin alma después de las salidas de Tévez, Pirlo y Vidal, pierden los dos primeros partidos de liga algo que nunca había pasado en su historia

La fábrica de las 189 marcas

El productor del sifón Geiser, con 120 años de historia, sobrevive a las multinacionales

EL PAÍS RECOMIENDA

La caída de Roma

A pesar de su pasado glorioso, la capital de Italia nunca ha sido un dechado de virtudes. Hoy la ciudad lucha por revivir

Un siglo de experimentos militares con humanos

Miles de personas participaron sin saberlo en pruebas de armas químicas

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50


Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana