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Spain

Spaniards give thumbs down to Rajoy’s first year in power

Seven out of ten Spaniards have given the thumbs down to Mariano Rajoy’s stewardship of the country a year after he was swept to power.

The CIS poll for El Mundo newspaper showed the prime minister’s rating is now even worse than his socialist predecessor Jose Luis Zapatero at his lowest point last autumn.

Unpopular measures

The poll will come as a further blow to the government which has presided over an 800,000-strong increase in unemployment and implemented a raft of highly unpopular measures, from personal income tax and VAT increases, deregulatory hire and fire labour reforms and an effective end to a universal system of public health, with the exclusion of illegal immigrants and those over 26 years of age who haven’t paid social insurance contributions, plus charges for medicines.

Rajoy has also cut wages and unemployment benefits, while raising university fees

Black year for workers, good year for fraudsters

The federal coordinator of the radical United Left, Cayo Lara, said it has been a ‘black year for workers’ and a ‘good year for fraudsters, capitalists and speculators, who just want more profits even at the expense of the suffering of the people.’

Lara slammed Rajoy’s year in power for failing to prioritize jobs and having impoverished the majority, and reserved his harshest criticisms for the labour reforms passed earlier this year. He noted that about half a million people have been laid off since the reforms have come into force.

Austerity binge breaking social consensus

‘Workers have fewer rights, students have fewer scholarships, the unemployed have less subsidies, families with dependants have less support and there ‘s a smaller budget for education and health. This is the balance of a year of government management in the right,’ said Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, socialist leader.

Rubalcaba accused Rajoy of having used his absolute majority in Parliament to break the ‘social consensus’ and cohesion in Spanish society.

He also lashed out at the EU for persisting in its ‘austerity binge’, pointing to ‘model student’ Portugal which had done all that Brussels had asked and had only seen more recession and unemployment. The adjustment policies demanded by the EU were ‘not sustainable’ and were  ‘unfair’ on the Spanish people.

See also how Rajoy is Failing in 10 Economic Indicators

More on Spain

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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