Spanish Firefighters protesting against the cuts in Bilbao
Their message to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey’s right wing agenda of cuts & austerity - ” KISS our ASS “
Spanish civil servants out against pay cuts
Thousands of Spanish civil servants left work and took to the streets in angry protest against new sweeping austerity measures including wage cuts and tax increases.
In Madrid, hundreds-strong groups of government workers blocked traffic in different parts of the city.
As dusk fell, bands of protesters marched, stopping to jeer outside the headquarters of the conservative and socialist parties before heading to parliament.
About 500 civil servants dressed in black rallied at the city’s central square Puerta del Sol. Some women wore veils, as if at funerals. Protesters blew whistles and horns.
In Valencia, several hundred Justice Ministry workers shouted “hands up, this is a stick-up” at a protest rally.
The latest bout of austerity is prompting widespread opposition, not least from civil servants whose wages were cut by 5 per cent in 2010 in the first round of austerity cuts.
The government is now axing their extra Christmas payment in what amounts to another 7 per cent pay cut.
Spanish civil servants are not highly paid, with many earning as little as €1,000 (£787) a month.
Librarian Isabel Perez said: “Our wages have already been cut and now they take away the Christmas payment.
“I don’t make it to the end of the month as it is.
“The extra payment gave some relief. We’re not exactly millionaires.”
She earns €1,300 (£1,020) a month and has already faced a yearly €330 (£260) wage cut.
Photo/report: Morning Star
I AM IN THE WRONG COUNTRY.
Eye-candy aside, there’s two points I’d like to make.
Point one: Barcelona’s fire-fighters are awesome to demonstrate with. Basically you are surrounded by people who value your safety and are the only ones that stand against police brutality. They also tend to be really good-humoured and, yeah, handsome.
Point two: I like the part that says “many earning as little as €1,000 (£787)”. You see, that’s not the minimum wage for a civil servant, there is an estimation that between 10.000 and 15.000 earn less than 962€, 1.5 times the minimum wage in Spain (641,4€). Now, for reference, think about the average rent in Bilbao, where those fire-fighters are from: 993€. In my city, the average rent is 907€. Of course in rural areas it can go as cheap as 416€, but young people are fleeing the country looking for jobs.
The job market is horrible. Being a “mileurista” (“one-hundred-er”, a person earning 1000€/month) used to be a horrible thing… 10 years ago. And now you are supposed to be successful if you earn 800€.
So basically you have a whole overqualified generation that is living at home, not marrying or having kids. Not working. Not saving for our retirement pensions. Think about this next time EU or Merkel tell Spain to “raise taxes” or to “implement harder measures”. There is politics and there is tyranny. And we are getting very tired.
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