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Violence, Firebombings Erupt as Spain Announces Deficit-Cutting Plan
Townhall.com ^ | April 1, 2012 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 04/01/2012 12:25:05 PM PDT by Kaslin

My friend Bran who lives in Spain writes ...

Hello Mish

Here are thoughts from the last couple of days on the strikes, protests, and violence in the wake of more austerity plans by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Pro-government news played down the strike to a virtual non-event, giving much criticism of the unions methods and exaggerations. Reality however, is that there is enough support by strikers to shape future politics, especially as austerity starts to bite.

The unions have promised to step up protests. The
Indignado 15 Million Movement also protested, but separately from the unions.

One comment stuck out - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the protests did not represent Spain. Maybe she was trying to be reassuring, but she is taking sides against maybe a million or so people of a foreign population, not very wise at best and otherwise agitating.
Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan

MarketWatch reports Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan

The Spanish government on Friday delivered what it called the biggest fiscal adjustment in the country’s democratic history, unveiling a 27 billion euro ($36 billion) deficit-reduction plan that includes sharp spending cuts across government ministries and higher taxes for corporations.

With images of nationwide demonstrations and strikes against labor reforms still fresh, the weight of the budget appeared to fall on big companies and government spending. Labor unions said nearly 1 million took part in Madrid’s rally alone Thursday evening.

Corporations will be asked to pay higher taxes this year, and their tax breaks will be reduced while the government said value-added-taxes would not rise. It said tax receipts for VAT would fall 2.6% as a result of weak growth in Spain.

Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said all ministries would need to reduce their budgets by around 17% this year, which was slightly higher than expected, saving a total of up to €65.8 billion. Salaries for public workers will not be reduced, but will be frozen this year.

Electricity prices will rise 7%, to pay off a €24 billion electricity-tariff deficit that accumulated due to the difference between consumer prices set by the state and producer’s costs. Tariffs paid by electricity companies will rise 5%.
Austerity Measures Prompt Spanish Workers To Strike

NPR reports Austerity Measures Prompt Spanish Workers To Strike

Workers walked off the job in Spain on Thursday, halting public transport, closing schools and leaving hospitals with emergency staff only. The general strike was called by unions in response to the conservative government's labor reforms, which let companies opt out of collective bargaining agreements and fire workers more cheaply. But more punishing austerity could still be to come, as Spain tries to whittle down its budget deficit under pressure from Brussels.Violence Erupts in Spanish Strikes

The Washington Post has a nice 19-image slideshow Violence Erupts in Spanish Strikes. Here are a few images.



March 29, 2012
A demonstrator throws stones next to a burning Starbucks, which was stormed by demonstrators during clashes with police at the general strike in Barcelona. Spanish workers livid over labor reforms they see as flagrantly pro-business staged a nationwide strike Thursday and tried to bring the country to a halt by blocking traffic, closing factories and clashing with police in rowdy demonstrations.
Emilio Morenatti / AP



March 29, 2012
People attend a demonstration in Valencia, Spain, during a national strike.
Jose Jordan / AFP/Getty Images



March 29, 2012
A woman cries after demonstrators smashed a shop window during heavy clashes with police during a 24-hour strike in Barcelona.
David Ramos / Getty Images

Eurozone crisis live: Violence in Barcelona Amid Spanish General Strike

The Guardian has numerous images and videos in its report Eurozone crisis live: Violence in Barcelona Amid Spanish General Strike



Protesters crowd in Madrid's landmark Puerta del Sol square for a closing rally tonight. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

As many as 900,000 people took part in the march to Madrid's centre square, Puerta del So.

Spanish Economy Will Implode

Labor reforms are badly needed but electricity price hikes of 7%, higher corporate taxes, increased VAT and other tax hikes are not. Spain needs more time not more tax hikes. With unemployment rate already at 23.3% austerity measures are guaranteed to make matter worse, and tax hikes on top of it all will be the nail in the coffin.

Prime Minister Rajoy forecasts the Spanish economy will contract 1.7% and government GDP targets and budgets are based on that. I bet that 3% contraction minimum is in the works if Rajoy enacts the tax hikes and austerity measures as planned.

Things will be much worse if the violence and strikes stay in an elevated state. Unlike the protests a year ago, these strikes have more serious overtones.

Spain Headed for Bond Revolt and Bailouts

The idea that Rajoy will cut the deficit to 5.3% this year and 3% next year are purely Fantasyland proposals.

For now, the bond market has given Rajoy the benefit of the doubt, assuming you call 5.35% on the 10-year bond any kind of "benefit". With the suspension of the LTRO, and a budget targets that cannot possibly be met, look for a substantial move up in Spanish bond yields.

That will also punish any Spanish banks foolish enough to load up on bonds in a misguided carry-trade play. With Spain, nearly everything is worse than the government reports, and the reports are awful.

A bond market revolt and bailout are in the cards this year. Ultimately, Spain will not survive in the Eurozone.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: eucrisis; europeanunion; france; germany; spaincrisis; unitedkingdom

1 posted on 04/01/2012 12:25:07 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Greece was a bump in the road.
If Spain goes, Europe goes.


2 posted on 04/01/2012 12:27:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Kaslin
Law of Unintended Consequences. If they're torching all the Starbucks, the local governments are getting free urban renewal services out of it.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."

--H.L. Mencken, The Sage of Baltimore


3 posted on 04/01/2012 12:38:59 PM PDT by Viking2002
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To: Kaslin

Other than olives, I can’t think of anything these people do to strike from.


4 posted on 04/01/2012 12:41:57 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: Kaslin

Once you start with the free handouts, you can’t take that away without infuriating the “garbage dump bears”.


5 posted on 04/01/2012 12:42:37 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (It's time to WEAN the government off of our money.)
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To: Kaslin
There is that about Reality, it has teeth...
Kipling called it the Gods of the Copybook Headings

http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_copybook.htm


6 posted on 04/01/2012 12:44:00 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Kaslin

They are protesting to keep spending money that does not exist


7 posted on 04/01/2012 12:47:44 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Lazlo in PA

Spain is 1/4 of the EU’s economy


8 posted on 04/01/2012 1:00:26 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Kaslin
With Spain, nearly everything is worse than the government reports...

Same thing with the USA.

9 posted on 04/01/2012 1:03:29 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: HangnJudge

Foretold the next century, he did, from the vantage point of 1919.


10 posted on 04/01/2012 1:06:42 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: mylife

That right there could be the problem. No wonder the EU is in a slow meltdown.


11 posted on 04/01/2012 1:09:26 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: Lazlo in PA

All they can do is slow it.


12 posted on 04/01/2012 1:13:24 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Kaslin
Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said all ministries would need to reduce their budgets by around 17% this year, which was slightly higher than expected, saving a total of up to €65.8 billion. Salaries for public workers will not be reduced, but will be frozen this year.

Can anyone imagine how the US public would react if all government agencies had to reduce spending by 17%?

13 posted on 04/01/2012 1:18:58 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Kaslin

LOL!
Maybe Spain can serve as an audio-visual aid for what the US can expect when the Democrat socialists run out of other people’s money and need to impose “austerity measures” here. The amusing part is that the riots and looting of the Democrat party’s parasite base will be largely confined to the concentrated Democrat parasite nests (”cities”), and far, far away from my armed-to-the-teeth countryside parcel.
lol


14 posted on 04/01/2012 1:21:10 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Kaslin


15 posted on 04/01/2012 1:23:00 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: mylife

The economy of the European Union generates a GDP of over €12.279033 trillion (US$17.960 trillion in 2011) according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), making it the largest economy in the world.

Spain’s economy (GDP) is 1,062,591 Euros. How is that 1/4 of the total EU economy?


16 posted on 04/01/2012 1:23:37 PM PDT by kabar
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To: DuncanWaring
Foretold the next century, he did, from the vantage point of 1919.

Kipling, A Poet and a Seer, who'd a thunk it

17 posted on 04/01/2012 1:24:40 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: kabar
Can anyone imagine how the US public would react
if all government agencies had to reduce spending by 17%?


18 posted on 04/01/2012 1:28:29 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Lancey Howard

If the Dems are in charge, the first thing they will do is gut defense spending and then raise taxes to keep the welfare state going a little longer. The last thing they will cut is welfare and entitlement spending.


19 posted on 04/01/2012 1:30:13 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

I read it on the internets!


20 posted on 04/01/2012 1:33:47 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: HangnJudge

Since the government controls over 40% of the economy, I doubt that there would be much clapping going on if government spending were reduced by 17% in one year.


21 posted on 04/01/2012 1:34:05 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
The last thing they will cut is welfare and entitlement spending.

Of course. Welfare, food stamps, and other "free stuff" confiscated from working taxpayers ("Republicans") are the things the Democrats trade to their base of parasites in exchange for votes. It's their currency, their lifeblood, and therefore the last things they will surrender.

22 posted on 04/01/2012 1:41:47 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: kabar
I doubt that there would be much clapping going on
if government spending were reduced by 17% in one year.

There might be if the populous could be made to see the damage
that deficit spending is doing to the "Children and GrandChildren"

I know, Altruism is Dead and Cynicism Reigns Supreme
/¿sarcasm?

23 posted on 04/01/2012 1:46:13 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: kabar
Can anyone imagine how the US public would react if all government agencies had to reduce spending by 17%?

Personally I'd be glad to go out and burn a Starbucks. It wouldn't make the economy better but the national average cup of coffee would improve slightly.

24 posted on 04/01/2012 1:50:02 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: HangnJudge

Try cutting out 17% in one year from this budget. Our revenue barely covers the entitlment programs, other so- called mandatory spending like unemployment benefits and food stamps, and debt servicing costs. And remember that 10,000 people a day are retiring and will continue to do so for the next 20 years. By 2030, one out of every five residents will be 65 or older, twice what it is now.

25 posted on 04/01/2012 1:59:53 PM PDT by kabar
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To: mylife

Italy will likely erupt next. Italy will be big enough to bring down all of Europe.


26 posted on 04/01/2012 3:06:59 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Kaslin

Madrid had relatively few problems.

Barcelona has always been full of leftist and anarchist nutcases, and was essential in lighting the match for the Spanish Civil War. Barcelona is very French-influenced. Even though the French under Napoleon destroyed the city and surroundings, the Catalans have always really lusted after the French.

Now it has been taken over by a multinational band of anarchist loonies, and the city and regional government have spent so much of their time and treasure on rejecting the rest of Spain that they honestly are not prepared to deal with the fact that they have become ground zero for every pathetic perroflauta anarchist in the universe.

For those who don’t know, perroflauta literally means dog and flute (a simple recorder) and refers to the wandering youth annoying people by playing recorders on the street to collect money while their pathetic dog is tethered next to them. The dysfunctional girlfriend is down the street with her own dog and her own flute.

The only question is who is using these dysfunctional mental midgets.


27 posted on 04/01/2012 5:20:04 PM PDT by livius
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To: Lazlo in PA

VW makes SEAT automobiles in Spain.


28 posted on 04/01/2012 8:36:32 PM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: Cincinna; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Kaslin.
Spanish workers livid over labor reforms they see as flagrantly pro-business staged a nationwide strike Thursday and tried to bring the country to a halt by blocking traffic, closing factories and clashing with police in rowdy demonstrations.
Spain needs more windmills to generate free electricity, which will in turn generate the money needed to increase wages, reduce the gov't deficit, and... yeah, okay, time for the /sarc tag.


29 posted on 04/06/2012 12:37:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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