Spanish unions protest retirement reform
MADRID: Tens of thousands of Spanish workers staged strikes in 40 cities Saturday to protest state plans to up the retirement age to slash public deficit, the highest in the eurozone after Greece and Ireland.
The strikers gathered in central Madrid carrying red flags and holding placards such as "No to retirement at 67", police said giving the estimates, adding they were essentially from the main UGT and CCOO unions.
"It's a direct attack on the rights of workers, who have already suffered in the crisis for two years," said Juan Carlos Caceres, a railway union leader.
Raising the retirement age "makes no sense because there is a very high level of youth unemployment," said Maria Eugenia Marcos, an unemployed telecommunications worker. However, the 56-yearold said the protests against the reforms were "weak" as many people realised that something needed to be done safeguard future pension pots. -Afp