Spanish PM Defends Year Of Austerity Amid ProtestsDecember 17th, 2012 7:52 pm Associated Press
MADRID (AP) — Spain’s prime minister is defending his conservative government’s imposition of austerity measures during its first year in power, even as thousands of people protest in the streets.
Mariano Rajoy says “2012 will be remembered as the year in which we placed the foundations for our recovery” and added that he expected the economy to improve during the coming year.
Spain, with 25 percent unemployment, is battling to reduce its deficit and emerge from its second recession in three years.
Late Monday, demonstrations against cuts to education, health care and pensions were held in several Spanish cities. But the number of protesters fell well short of the hundreds of thousands the country’s labor unions had called on to show up.