POLITICS

Unions share spending-cut “suicide” alarm with king

Labor leaders use meeting with monarch to propose referendum on government’s austerity measures

Spain’s two top union leaders warned King Juan Carlos on Tuesday that the country will be heading toward “suicide” if the Popular Party (PP) government of Mariano Rajoy goes through with its painful austerity measures.

Fernando Toxo of the CCOO and the UGT’s Cándido Méndez suggested to the monarch that the string of budget cuts planned for the nation must be put to a vote in a referendum. The union chiefs, who met with the king at Zarzuela Palace for less than an hour, also said they were against a possible bailout by Brussels on top of the bank recapitalization plan that the Rajoy government has asked for, according to a joint statement issued by both unions.

The two leaders didn’t give any statements to reporters and left in separate vehicles.

Zarzuela sources said that the meeting, which was at the behest of the Royal Household, was just one of many the king regularly holds with different sectors of the country. Toxo and Méndez have also met with Rajoy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the past few weeks.

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