Arab Today, arab today thousands in spain protest to defend pensions
Last Updated : GMT 09:15:11
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Thousands in Spain protest to defend pensions

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Thousands in Spain protest to defend pensions

Madrid - AFP

Whistles blowing and horns honking, thousands of people demonstrated Monday in Madrid to defend their pensions from the austerity policies of the right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy. Spain\'s government broke a key election commitment in November by saying it would fail to raise pensions in line with inflation in 2013, as the crisis bites into the public finances. Responding to the calls of unions, pensioners and elderly people thronged the streets of Madrid to express their rage at the government. \"They\'re going to leave us in our undershorts,\" said a 90-year-old pensioner who would only give his name as Jacinto. \"Those in the PP will take more things from us. They have lied to us about everything,\" Jacinto added, lashing out at Rajoy\'s Popular Party. Prime Minister Rajoy said in his election campaign a year ago that he would make cuts \"everywhere\" but that his top priority was to maintain the purchasing power of pensions. Since taking power after a huge election victory a year ago, he has made tough spending cuts and tax rises to lower the country\'s deficit as demanded by the European Union and stabilise the public finances. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said last month that most pensions would be raised by one percent in 2013, but pensions of less than 1,000 euros a month would rise by two percent. She said the government had agreed to reform a social security emergency reserve fund so it could dip into it to provide four billion euros to make the extra Christmas payments due to pensioners. Consumer price inflation was 3.0 percent in the year to November as a sales-tax increase fuelled inflation in the midst of a recession, figures from the National Statistics Office showed last month. Protests against the government\'s austerity policies have become daily events in Madrid and in other Spanish cities where doctors, teachers and other professionals go on strike.

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