A record 6 million people -- or 27.2 percent of the population -- are unemployed in Spain, the highest level for the country since it began keeping records in 1976. Luckily, there is a silver lining: authorities say the rate of the increase has at least slowed since the recession first began. Spain’s economy -- the fourth largest in Europe -- has relied heavily on the major central banks, but the country has been left in recession by deep spending cuts. “These figures are worse than expected,” said Jose Luis Martinez, a strategist at Citi in Madrid. Spanish President Mariano Rajoy is expected to unveil a new reform plan Friday, but thousands of protesters still converged in Madrid on Thursday.
20 documents found in 0 seconds.
- Economic Crisis
- Flash Mob
- Open Thread
- Robin Hood
- Rubber Bullets
- The Beatles
- World News
- austerity, economic crisis,
- health care
- housing bubble
- insider attack
- labor unions
- occupy madrid
- record high
- spending cuts
- unemployment office
- white tide
Thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of 16 Spanish cities Sunday to protest plans to privatize parts of their public health care system, with some questioning the government’s motives.
It was the third “white tide” demonstration in Madrid, named after the color of the medical scrubs many protesters wear. But it was the first time cities other than the capital took part, including Barcelona, Cuenca, Murcia, Pamplona, Toledo and Zaragoza. Protesters marched carrying banners saying “Public health is not to be sold, it’s to be defended.”
Health care and education are administered by Spain’s 17 semiautonomous regions. Some indebted ones, like Madrid, have announced the privatization of some services, with many people openly suspicious that the move is more a political-motivated ploy than an attempt to cut costs.
"White Coat" protesters march in protest in Madrid.
[Madrid protests via Flickr]
Sixty percent of those under 25 in Spain have no job, and the nation faces its the highest unemployment levels since the 1970s, according data released by the government Thursday. The nationwide jobless rate rose to 26 percent, or 5.97 million people, according to the National Statistics Institute—up from 25 percent the previous quarter. It’s not over yet, either: with the recession likely to last until the end of 2013, net job creation looks increasingly unlikely.
Spain is suffering an unprecedented economic crisis with about 800,000 jobs lost in 2012, more than half of under-25-year-olds are unemployed, total unemployment at 26% and expected to grow. As you can imagine, the unemployment offices there are rather dismal, with the staff feeling helpless and the unemployed waiting in the lines feeling hopeless.
Carne Curda 2.0, a program on Spanish radio, wanted to do something to help, even if just temporarily. They organized a small flashmob to perform and sing The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" for one of the unemployment offices in Madrid. As you can see in the video above, the result was truly touching.
Open Thread below...
Moments before Ameia Egana, aged 53, was to be evicted from her fourth floor apartment, she clambered over the balcony railing and jumped to her death. Police at the scene said she died on impact. It is the second suicide in Spain in a matter of weeks; a man facing eviction in Grenada was found hanging in his home. A local judge called to the scene said the law on evictions must be changed. Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp reports.
On Monday, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos promised that no needy family will go homeless over mortgage arrears, responding to public fury over Egana's suicide as she was being evicted.
Facing accusations that politicians and banks are complicit in de facto "murder", Spain's banking association said its members would suspend eviction orders for two years for those borrowers worst hit by economic crisis and record unemployment.
Banks have repossessed close to 400,000 homes in Spain since a property bubble burst in 2008 and the nation subsequently sank into recession, throwing millions out of work and unable to keep up mortgage payments to the banks.
Nearly one million homes now sit vacant in Spain. A citizens' movement called "Stop Evictions" asked the banks earlier this year to forgive mortgage debt for properties worth less than 200,000 euros, and where all family members are unemployed. Currently under Spanish law, even when borrowers turn their home over to the banks, they must still pay the entire amount of the mortgage.
Police unions have agreed to support officers who refuse to participate in eviction proceedings. But until government finalizes reforms to eviction laws, there are those who will still face eviction and homelessness. Meanwhile, the banks are set to receive part of an up to 100 billion euro European bailout to offset their financial hardships as so many are unable to pay their mortgage debts.
This short film chronicles the events of September 25 to 29 in Madrid, Spain, where tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the government and an end to police brutality. Many of the protests ended in clashes with the police. Since the stand off began, the images of police brutality have travelled the world over, shocking and inspiring people across Europe and leading to an international day of action on September 29. This film tells the story of why so many people took to the streets and follows these events as they unfolded.
This short film chronicles the events of the past week in Spain, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets against austerity, to demand the resignation of the government, and an end to police brutality. Since the stand-off began on September 25th , the images of police brutality have travelled the world over, shocking and inspiring people across Europe, and leading to an international day of action on September 29th.
This film tells the story of why so many people took to the streets, and follows these events as they unfolded.
Sunday early morning world news round-up from Al Jazeera English: Another insider attack in Afghanistan, a string of blasts rock Iraq, police violence in hit Spain's austerity protests, and more.
Dissatisfied with the country’s worsening economic troubles and displeased with proposed austerity measures, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in Madrid Tuesday. The protesters formed a human chain around the parliament building while police fired bullets at and beat the most violent in the crowd with truncheons. At least 22 people were arrested while 32 were injured, including four policeman. The protest was timed to the new 2013 budget, which will be announced by the government Thursday and includes cuts in inflation-linked pensions, taxes on stock transactions, the implantation of green taxes, and the elimination of several tax breaks. The region of Catalonia, which is responsible for 20 percent of the national output, called for an early election on Nov. 25 that could lead to a referendum on secession.
Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest adds this:
The job of bankers is to assess risk. They are supposed to look at all the factors, and price a loan accordingly. If you have a credit card with very high risk, you might pay in the 20% range! This way the banks can lend out the money, and even if a large percentage of the borrowers default, they still do OK. They are expecting a certain default rate, they price accordingly, they do OK on the loan portfolio.
Same for when they lend to countries. They price loans according to the default risk, and over the lifetime of the loans they are supposed to get their money back plus some return, even with the expected defaults. If the banks screwed up and didn't price their loans correctly, this doesn't make the people of Greece lazy, etc. it makes the bankers incompetent.
OR the bankers did price correctly, and over the lifetimes of all of their loans they are getting their money back and a return, AND they are also taking advantage of the situation to get more, make a killing, force privatization, force wages down, get rid of that pesky democracy that has been in the way, etc.
So here we are again, with the elites in the position of being either stupid (incompetent) or evil. And with the people in misery as a result, while the elites do just fine for themselves. With the added bonus for the elites that the experiment of wresting control from the elites and to the people -- democracy -- ending.
CNN's Al Goodman reports on the leftist mayor in Spain's Cordoba province who takes his villagers on food raids, earning him the moniker "The Robin Hood Mayor."