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Marches held in protest of Pensions Reform Act

Source: Reuters - Sat 13th Feb 2010

Unions throughout Spain are expected to hold demonstrations after February 23 because of the proposed pensions reform act.

The proposal of increasing state pensionable age to a mandatory 67 years has been met with outcry from workers all over the country.

According to the UGT and the CCOO (the general workers' union and the workers' commission), the proposal has 'generated alarm' and is 'terrifying'.

Manual workers, in particular, are against the move, since they say that they will be physically incapable of continuing with their trade past the age of 65.

The secretary-general of the CCOO, Ignacio Fernández Toxo, says: "The social security model in Spain is perhaps the most solvent system the country has."

He does not believe forcing workers to carry on grafting for a further two years will help to guarantee a state pension for today's young employees.

Both Toxo and the secretary-general for the UGT, Cándido Méndez, call it 'regressive, wrong, imprudent and lacking in solidarity'.

Already, protest marches have been organised in Madrid at 19.00hrs on February 23, from the Plaza de Neptuno as far as the Puerta del Sol; in Barcelona, Tarragona, Lérida and Girona at 18.00hrs; and in Valencia, Alicante and Castellón at 19.30hrs.

The following day will see protests in Almería, Cádiz, Granada, Córdoba, Huelva, Málaga, Jaén and Sevilla at 19.30hrs, and in all the provincial capitals of Galicia on March 2.

All other provincial capitals will hold demonstrations between March 2 and 6, with the dates to be confirmed.

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