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Spain's Parliament approves first austerity measures

01-12-2012 07:27 BJT

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Spain's Parliament has approved the new conservative government's first austerity measures, needed to rein in the country's massive deficit. They amount to nearly 9 billion euros worth of cuts in spending. The measures also include income and property tax hikes.

The austerity package was approved by 197 deputies in the 350-seat lower house.

(front L-R) Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Treasury and Public
Administration Minister Cristobal Montoro, Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardon,
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidency and Government Spokeswoman Soraya Saenz de
Santamaria and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy react after Parliament voted in favour of
their austerity plan at Parliament in Madrid January 11, 2012

Other moves include a freeze on civil servants’ salaries and on practically all government hiring. Extra money will be created by a two year increase in personal income tax.

Spain is still in a recession triggered by the collapse of a property and construction bubble that had fuelled growth for nearly a decade. The country now has a 21-point-5 percent unemployment rate - the highest in the eurozone.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attends a plenary session before voting for the
government's austerity plan at Parliament in Madrid January 11, 2012.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (R) and Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of
Presidency and Government Spokeswoman Soraya Saenz de Santamaria react before voting for
the government's austerity plan at Parliament in Madrid January 11, 2012.

Spain's Treasury and Public Administration Minister Cristobal Montoro (C) gestures as he
speaks during a plenary session before voting for the government's austerity plan at
Parliament in Madrid January 11, 2012.

Spanish Labour Minister Fatima Banez (L) and Treasury and Public Administration Minister
Cristobal Montoro laugh before voting for the government's austerity plan at Parliament
in Madrid January 11, 2012.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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