Spain reveals austerity budget amidst continued protests
With the threat of economic collapse looming, Spain has set out its austerity ambitions.
The government has proposed cuts totalling €39 billion in a desperate attempt to prevent further deterioration to its economy. However, many see these measures as a prelude to a softer second bailout of its banks.
Analysts suggest that these austerity measures are only one part of the path to better economic health, and that spending cuts and tax increases are unlikely to stem the bleeding social-economic situation in the short-term.
With unemployment expected to rise to over 24% and deteriorating Health and Education systems, sceptics wonder whether these measures will actually benefit Spanish markets meaningfully.
The important questions that hang in the air are whether Spain is able to meet these targets and whether it is prepared to proceed with such severe measures in its effort to placate both investors and Brussels. Though Spain’s large economy and Eurozone contribution are valued to other EU member states, better co-operation between them will be essential if Spain is to avoid a second bailout.
As Spain unveiled this latest austerity budget, anti-austerity protesters continued to demonstrate in the capital, Madrid. These follow on from the protests after the Eurozone bailout earlier this year and mirror the recent anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece.
Recent police efforts have focused on disrupting the organisation behind the activist groups, who are capitalising on the power of social networks in structuring their protests. However, despite these efforts, they struggled to contain protesters during the recent wave of demonstrations.
The continued protests in the Spanish capital call for a new government and an end to the austerity measures. Nevertheless, a change of government is unlikely to be an outcome of this Spanish unrest.