Spanish unemployment rising

This is a video about an anti-austerity demonstration in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain on 12 February 2012.

From the World Socialist Web Site:

Barcelona’s unemployed detail social tragedy engulfing Spain

By our reporters

5 October 2012

Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, unemployment in Spain has risen from 8 percent to nearly 25 percent, over double the European Union average. Amongst young people it has risen from 22 percent to 53 percent. In the poorer regions, including Extremadura, the Canary Islands and southern Andalucia, the unemployment rate is approaching 35 percent.

The number of people emigrating from Spain, mainly to other European Union countries and Latin America, has risen from 400,000 in 2010 to over 500,000 in 2011.

Particularly badly hit is employment in the construction industry as a result of the collapse of the housing boom. Government spending cuts have increased job losses dramatically in the public sector.

This week, Popular Party Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had discussions with the leaders of Spain’s 17 regional governments and told them to carry out further cuts. The government is making it easier and cheaper for employers to fire workers and is seeking to rollback collective bargaining agreements.

In order to receive unemployment benefits, a person must have worked at least 360 days in the last six years and be registered as available for work. An unemployed worker receives 70 percent of his/her wage for six months, thereafter 60 percent, for a maximum of 24 months. But the maximum benefit for a single person is just over €1,000 ($1,300) a month and for someone with two children, €1,400 ($1,800).

Joaquin, 60, explained, “I was a car salesman but I have been unemployed for two years. My unemployment benefit is ending but there is a subsidy for people over 55 of around €400 ($520).

“My mother died a year ago so I take care of my father. I tried to get a new job but it is difficult; it is almost impossible. Age is a big problem. The crisis has had deep effects. It is just a starting point of a longer process. It’s getting worse. The economic situation will not be fixed soon.

Elisa, 59, said, “I used to work in an insurance company but I have been unemployed for two years and the unemployment benefit is being phased out. The future is pretty bad at my age and in my situation. I have no expectation of finding a new job.

“One of my three children, the oldest one, left the country to work in Belgium. For all of them I only see a future outside Spain.

“The others have almost finished their education. They are preparing an Erasmus exchange [European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students]. Maybe they will find work elsewhere, but I don’t know. The cuts in education and health care are fatal. Both are the basic fundamentals of society.”

4 thoughts on “Spanish unemployment rising

  1. Pingback: Greek youth unemployment now over 60% | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Spanish government attacks free speech | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Spanish king’s daughter a corruption suspect | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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