Spain Announces Austerity Measures

May 12, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Spain's President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gives a speech at the Parliament in Madrid on May 12, 2010.  (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Spain's President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gives a speech at the Parliament in Madrid on May 12, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero yesterday asked for “national and collective strength” from the Spanish people as he announced deep cuts in public sector funds, part of the country’s effort to reduce its deficit.

The government will reduce salaries of over 2.6 million civil servants by 5 percent in coming months. The cuts will be proportional to income, with larger salaries cut more.

In addition, senior government officials, including the president, will have their pays cut by 15 percent. Automatic increase in pensions will be stopped and the 2,500-euro (US$3,100) "baby checks," which Spain gave new mothers, will also be eliminated, according to Spanish national newspaper 20minutos.

Spain hopes to cut its deficit from the current 11 percent to 6 percent by 2011, according to a report by the BBC.