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Spanish unions mull general strike over austerity measures

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People protest against the Spanish government’s austerity measures in Malaga on July 13, 2012.

A Spanish trade union leader has warned that unions were considering a general strike against the government’s new austerity measures.

Secretary General of Comisiones Obreras trade union (CCOO) Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said on Monday that the strike was “unavoidable” if the government did not backtrack on new spending cuts.

Unions have already called for nationwide protests on July 19.

On Monday, hundreds of firemen, police and nurses protested against the austerity plan one day after thousands hit the streets.

Last week, the government approved new measures that include wage cuts and tax increases for a country struggling under a recession and an unemployment rate of near 25 percent.

Madrid says the aim of the latest package of measures is to chop 65 billion euros (USD79 billion) off the budget deficit through 2015.

Since last week, thousands of people have taken to the streets against government spending cuts and tax hikes.

Toxo criticized the cuts, saying they “postpone recovery, deepen the recession, increase unemployment and impoverish society.”


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