Socialist Worker

Spanish crisis: cuts for all, except army and royals

by Jeremie nestor in Barcelona,
Issue No. 2307

The impact of the crisis in Spain affects all aspects of life for ordinary people.

Every day there are 500 house evictions. People lose their homes—but they still have to pay their mortgages.

Before the crisis the health system was totally free and universal.

But now people have to pay one euro for every prescription.

People in hospitals have to pay between 50 percent and 60 percent of the cost of their medicine. Before the crisis it was 40 percent.

In some cases people have to pay to use an ambulance. And, as many hospital services are closed, some people have to travel for miles to go to get treatment.

Some hospitals are missing some anti-tumor medicines needed for cancer patients.

And some pharmaceutical firms won’t deliver them anymore.

Migrants without any documentation will have to pay to go to hospital from September.

This will be the same for young people who haven’t worked and aren’t studying.

University fees will go up in September from just over £800 a year to £1,200.

And many students will lose their grants.

The money that the government gave to the Bankia bank recently is three times the education budget.

The government has also cut funding for research.

Public sector workers have had their wages cut by almost

10 percent since the crisis began.

And many people without permanent contracts face redundancy.

One in four people in Spain are already unemployed. More than half of those are under

25 years old.

And a new labour law has made it easier for bosses to fire people.

It is also easier for them to avoid paying any redundancy compensation.

The government is presenting this as a way of making it easier to hire people.

David Cameron has used the same idea to cut workers’ rights in Britain.

But in fact, as we see with the unemployment rate, bosses are using the laws to fire people cheaply.

One charity recently compared poverty levels in Spain today to those that existed following the Second World War.

The government has cut everything except the military budget and money for the royal family.

But the cuts have led to strikes and resistance on the streets.

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