Spanish PM: ‘We have no money for health or education’

Saturday, April 21, 2012
By Paul Martin

BY VALENTINA POP
EUObserver.com
20.04.12

BRUSSELS – Spain has approved €10 billion of spending cuts and higher fees for education and health in a bid to show investors it is getting its deficit under control.

Speaking on the eve of the cabinet decision on Friday (20 April), centre-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he does not have enough money.

“It’s necessary, imperative because at this moment there is no money to pay for public services … There’s no money because we have spent so much over the last few years. So we have to do this so that in the future we can get out of this situation,” he told national media.

Rajoy said people will have to pay “just a few euros a month” more for medication than they do now. The wealthy will pay more than the poor, while those who do not have a job and do not qualify for state aid will be exempt.

In addition, regions will be allowed to make students pay 25 percent of the cost of their studies, compared to 15 percent before.

Labour unions have announced protests for 29 April in reaction to the measures, which come on top of €40 billion of cuts passed earlier this year and despite warnings by the International Monetary Fund that too much austerity will harm recovery.

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