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Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards protest against labour reforms spurred by austerity cuts

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards protest against labour reforms spurred by austerity cuts | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Union organizers said around 1 million people had marched by mid-afternoon, but official figures were not released.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government passed the package of reforms nine days ago in an effort to shake up a labour market seen as one of Europe's most rigid and to encourage hiring in a country battling the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone, at nearly 23 per cent.

The government, elected in November, is working desperately to chip away at a bloated deficit and a jobless rate that stands at staggering 39 per cent for those aged between 20 and 29. Its first big step was a €15 billion (around $20 billion) deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax hikes approved Feb. 3, followed by the shake-up of the labour market.

 

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Thousands protest Spain’s new labor reforms - Arab News

Thousands protest Spain’s new labor reforms - Arab News | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The country’s main trade unions have organized marches in 57 cities, beginning midmorning in Cordoba in the south and ending with evening marches in Barcelona, Seville, Toledo and Valencia, with a very large demonstration in Madrid from midday.

The newly introduced measures enable Spanish companies facing dwindling incomes to pull out of collective bargaining agreements and have greater flexibility to adjust employees’ schedules, workplace tasks and wages, as well as making it easier and less costly to fire workers.

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Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards protest new labor reforms

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards protest new labor reforms | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

REPORTING FROM MADRID -- Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards packed town squares nationwide Sunday to protest labor reforms that the new conservative government says are necessary to encourage economic growth. Workers fear the measures will allow companies to fire them more easily, exacerbating what is already Europe's highest unemployment rate.

The largest protests appeared to be in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, previously the home base of Spain's indignados -- angry youths who staged several months of demonstrations last year over unemployment and perceived government corruption. Tens of thousands also gathered in Barcelona, Valencia and more than 50 other cities and towns.

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Spain's indignados protesters reach Brussels | Video | Reuters.com

Spain's indignados protesters reach Brussels | Video | Reuters.com | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
OCT 9 - Protesters from Spain's 'Indignados' movement reach Brussels after walking across Europe to demonstrate against austerity cut backs. Travis Brecher reports.
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