Spanish Socialist Party Criticizes Govt Adjustments Measures

Madrid, Dec 31. -The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) denounced Saturday that the hard adjustment plan proposed by the new conservative government of Mariano Rajoy will lead to a serious economic recession and unemployment.In a press conference on Saturday, the PSOE parliamentary spokesman, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, said he was sorry that the Popular Party (the new government) is betting on a productive model based on working more and earning less.

The Spanish rightwing administration decided to freeze the salaries of public workers, who will see their working week extended to 37.5 hours instead of 35.

The government of Mariano Rajoy took office 10 days ago after defeating the PSOE in the elections on November 20, and approved a reduction of expenditures of 8.9 billion euros to fulfil the objective of the deficit demanded by the European Union.

The public deficit for this year will be 8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product compared to the 6-percent commitment, as established by the EU Stability and Growth Pact.

Analysts said the austerity package includes an increase in taxes, and is an anticipation of the social cuts to be implemented by the PP in 2012 to gain the trust of financial markets.

For Perez Rubalcaba, the candidate to replace Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as leader of the main Spanish opposition force, it will be the middle classes and workers who will suffer most from the new measures.

Perez Rubalcaba declared that the effects will mostly affect medium- and low-income people, youths and pensioners. Two-thirds of the increase, he said, will hit the working class.

We do not think it is reasonable that people earning less than 53,000 euros a year will have to assume 70 percent of the increase, he added.

He accused the PP of using the deficit in the autonomous communities as an excuse to cut government expenditures. He added that they lied in their election campaign, when they promised not to increase taxes. (Prensa Latina)