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Unions react against Government proposals for retirement at 67

Fri 5th Feb 2010

Both the UGT and CCOO unions are planning demonstrations for the end of the month against raising the retirement age to 67, despite the fact that the government reiterated yesterday that any decisions to change the pension system would be made "by consensus".

The Secretary General of the CCOO or workers' commission, Ignacio Fernández Toxo, confirmed that his members would demonstrate for their "right to live in retirement" and to say "no to the reduction in social protection".

For his part, the Secretary General of the UGT, Cándido Méndez, said that the government had caused "unnecessary alarm" and criticised the raising of the retirement age, saying that "the cost of pensions in Spain is not the problem".

Both Toxo and Méndez denied their desire to call for a general strike, saying that that would be a "very serious" step. Both agreed that it was more important to try to solve the problems with the Spanish economy "as this is what is preventing jobs being created".

Méndez stated that "social stability is something we all need to preserve", underlining the fact that it depended on management and the government too. He criticised the government for making statements that have caused unnecessary alarm amonst the workers by calling into question the viability of the state pension system.

Both trade union leaders said that they sincerely hoped that relations with the government would not deteriorate further, but insisted that it was their job to see that the situation did not get any worse for the workers.

Plans are currently being made to hold demonstrations and/or strikes across the country later this month, probably between February 22nd and 26th.

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