30 Dec '11, 3pm

Spain imposes 8.9b euros in spending cuts

Spain imposes 8.9b euros in spending cuts

MADRID - Spain's new right-leaning government imposed on Friday 8.9 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in a first round of spending cuts, saying the deficit had far overshot a 2011 target. Freshly installed after beating the Socialists in the November 20 elections, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's administration said it had found the books in a bad state and the cuts would have to run deep. The government froze public sector wages and new hiring, angering unions, but it also allowed pensions to rise by one percent in 2012 and it continued minimum payments to the jobless whose benefits run out. The 2011 public deficit was "much higher" than had been forecast by the last government, Rajoy's powerful deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting. Spain's deficit, closely watched by financial markets, would be equal to about eight percent o...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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