Spain hits jobless record as credit rating downgradedSpain said Friday that its unemployment rate hit a record 24.4 percent at the end of March, a day after Standard & Poor's ratings agency cut Spain's sovereign credit score by two notches to "BBB+".
News Wires (text) 27/04/2012
AFP - Spain announced Friday that its jobless rate surged to a record 24.4 percent at the end of March, pounding financial markets already reeling from a Spanish sovereign debt downgrade.
A total 5.64 million people searched in vain for work in the recession-bound, deficit-plagued economy, the National Statistic Institute said.
Already, Spain had the highest unemployment ratio in the industrialized world, as the slumping economy failed to absorb the millions of workers cast out of jobs when a property bubble imploded in 2008.
In a climate of recession, compounded by a renewed zeal for austerity to rein in the deficit and curb mushrooming debt, the jobs market deteriorated dramatically.
The unemployment rate soared to 24.44 percent of the potential workforce at the end of March from 22.85 percent three months earlier, the National Statistics Insitute report showed.
Some 365,900 jobs were destroyed in the first quarter of the year, pushing the unemployment rate to its highest level since records began in their existing format in 1996, it said.
Hours earlier, Standard and Poor's downgraded Spain's sovereign credit rating to BBB-plus and added a negative outlook, warning of recession this year and next, making it even harder to meet deficit-cutting targets.
At the same time, the government was increasingly likely to have to pump in funds to help banks, many of which are still burdened by non-performing loans extended during the property bubble, the agency said. more
It would be one thing to blame the Spanish for their troubles. The only problem with that is that there are hardly any governments who escaped the trashing by the banksters.
Tens Of Thousands Protest Austerity Cuts In SpainApr. 29, 2012
MADRID (AP) — Tens of thousands of people across Spain are protesting education and health care spending cuts as the country slides into its second recession in three years.
With unemployment at 24.4 percent — a Eurozone high — and more than half of Spaniards under 25 years old jobless, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has introduced stinging austerity measures in its first five months in office.
Speaking at a party rally, Rajoy, who on Friday announced a new set of tax hikes due to come into effect next year, said he had "no alternative." He added, "Spain needs deep structural change, not makeup."
Protesters in Madrid, northeastern Barcelona and eastern Valencia carried banners Sunday urging Rajoy not to "mess around with health and education." more
This I love. Gerry Adams may have become an old coot, but in his younger days, he scared the hell out of the Brit establishment. Maybe he has one more scare left in him.
Debt crisis lays waste to European governments27.04.2012
A likely change of power in France. No confidence votes in Romania and the Czech Republic. The Dutch government's resignation. Since the start of the debt crisis, 16 nations in the EU have seen a change of government.
Since the spring of 2010, the governments of more than half of the European Union's 27 member states have fallen or been voted out of office. In most cases, a direct line could be drawn between the government's exit and the austerity measures put in place because of the economic situation.
After Great Britain, Spain and Italy, France could be the next large EU member to see a change of the guard. Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande has a good chance of replacing current conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy when the French take to the polls in a second round of voting on May 6.
Only Germany, Poland and smaller states - including Lithuania, Estonia, Austria, Luxembourg and Malta - enjoy stable governing parties or coalitions.
Leaders in the rest of the EU have turned into victims of the economic crisis. On Friday, Romania's government collapsed after failing a no-confidence vote. Voters in the Netherlands will vote in the second set of early elections since the crisis erupted.
In Greece, the epicenter of the crisis, a new parliament will be elected on May 6. It could usher yet another government after changes in 2009 and 2011. Sweden and Bulgaria, meanwhile, are led by minority governments.
Over the past two years, 11 governments in the 17-member eurozone have collapsed or been voted out of power. In many cases, it does not appear that liberal or conservative leanings made a difference. Governments from both the left and right have been forced to vacate the halls of power.
In Spain, it was the conservatives who recently came to power, while it looks like socialists will replace the conservatives in France. In Greece and Italy, more neutral technocrats took over the business of governing after none of the parties could gain the public's trust.
"We have to get used to new faces and ideas all the time," said a European diplomat with experience in the eurozone meetings. He did not want his name connected to complaints about his international counterparts.
A lack of continuity makes it even more difficult to push through the rescue measures that the common currency area needs. German Chancellor Angela Merkel could lose one of her closest allies in the drive for austerity if Sarkozy is voted out of office. So far, she has received support only from Austria, Finland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, all of which are countries that pay more into the EU than they get out of it. more
In the first half of this clip (which runs 26:45) Max and Tracy tick off a list of some of the more expensive crimes of the banksters. In the second half, Michael Hudson explains the social reality of allowing the debt merchants to get the first seat at the table. And he is absolutely correct—giving the money first to the banksters is just terrible public policy.
Backers of EU treaty 'Thatcherite' - AdamsSinn Fein leader Gerry Adams: said the choice facing the Irish public in the referendum on May 31st was between austerity and growth.
April 25, 2012
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has portrayed supporters of the EU’s fiscal treaty as Thatcherite and Reaganite right-wingers.
Mr Adams said the choice facing the Irish public in the referendum on May 31st was between austerity and growth.
The Louth Deputy was speaking at the formal launch at the National Gallery of Sinn Féin’s campaign to urge the public to vote No on polling day. A pamphlet entitled Austerity isn’t working was also launched by the party.
Mr Adams asserted that proponents of the treaty were coming from a “a Thatcherite and Reaganite right-wing conservative ideological position.
He contended that if Ireland ratified the treaty, it would see the executive hand over powers “to unelected officials and bureaucrats in the EU Commission and allowing them to run this State, and to police fiscal as well as monetary matters.”
He said that austerity had not worked in Ireland, a point repeated by party deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, who said that the national deficit had continued to grow since 2008 despite six austerity budgets. more