Spanish civil servants in pay cuts strike
Civil servants protest outside the Finance Ministry in Madrid yesterday APSpanish civil servants have gone on strike in protest at wage cuts aimed at reducing the country's huge deficit.
The action is seen as a first test of strength for unions which are considering calling a general strike if the Socialist government imposes labour market reforms that go against workers' interests.
Talks on reforms to loosen up Spain's rigid labour market have been going on for months, but have taken on new urgency amid worries about Spain's ability to post economic growth, slash its deficit and pay off debt.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is under pressure from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and even US President Barack Obama to take bold action and ward off a Greek-style debt crisis which would further hurt the beleaguered euro.