Apart from major Basque unions ELA and LAB, other organizations joining the call include ESK, CGT, CNT, STEE-EILAS, EHNE and HIRU.
Major Basque unions have called for a general strike for September 26th. Photo: EFE
Basque unions ELA, LAB, ESK, STEE-EILAS, EHNE, CGT, CNT and Hiru announced on Thursday their call for a general strike in the Basque Country and Navarre to protest against the sales tax hikes and spending cuts approved by the Spanish government aimed at shaving 65 billion euros off the state budget over the next two and a half years. The strike has been called for September 26th.
The call came as Parliament debated the package of sales tax hikes and civil servant pay cuts that have triggered daily protests. A nationwide wave of rallies was planned for Thursday evening.
Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro pulled no punches as he launched the debate. A day after saying "there is no money" to pay civil servant wages because recession and a jobless rate of nearly 25 percent are sapping tax revenue, he said Thursday that Spain simply cannot go deeper into debt.
The austerity package proposed by the center-right government is designed to save 65 billion euros through 2015. It is expected to win passage but without support from any opposition parties.
The austerity measures include a 3-point hike in the main rate of Value Added Tax on goods and services to 21 percent and cuts in unemployment benefits and civil service pay and perks. Rajoy also announced reforms to city hall governments, shutdowns of public companies, reduced benefits for civil servants, budget cuts for political parties and labour unions.