MADRID – Leaders of Spain’s two biggest labor unions, the UGT and CCOO, told King Juan Carlos on Tuesday of their concern that the government’s austerity policies are hurting the economy.
UGT chief Candido Mendez and CCOO’s Ignacio Fernandez Toxo also expressed their opposition to “a possible second bailout of the Spanish economy by European authorities” in a joint communique following their meeting with the monarch.
In that regard, they said that a possible bailout by the European Union would come with a series of conditions that would drive Spain “into a recession that will be very hard to climb out of in the coming years.”
The labor leaders told the king that the policies of “severe cutbacks in public spending and the so-called structural reforms linked to them for the purpose of a drastic, immediate reduction of Spain’s public deficit are nothing but suicide.”
Their theory is that these policies of the ruling conservative Popular Party are blocking any chance of economic recovery or job creation in Spain, where unemployment stands at 24.6 percent.
Mendez and Fernandez Toxo expressed their conviction that the policies being pursued by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government should be submitted to a referendum, because they are “radically different from the ones proposed” by the PP in its campaign for last November’s general elections.
Following the 65 billion euro ($80.7 billion) austerity package enacted by the government on July 13, Fernandez Toxo and Mendez accused the administration of using the king as a shield since he presided that day over a special Cabinet session. EFE