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Spanish government and unions reach pensions agreement

Thu 27th Jan 2011

Earlier today the Spanish government reported that it had reached an initial agreement with the unions on the issue of pension reform, widely regarded as a significant step for the country to regain market confidence and prevent a further general strike.

The reforms, which raise the retirement age to 67 from 65, will not have any effect before 2015 but is an important step towards showing investors that the government is serious about making the changes required to revive its struggling economy and avoid the need for a bailout.

The Labour Ministry released a brief statement earlier today, saying how full details of the agreement would be ironed out later in the day.

The Spanish press have also reported how the two main unions had agreed to accept the raised age of retirement on the condition that those who have worked for 38.5 years can retire at 65 with full benefits.

The cabinet is expected to approve a pension reforms bill over the course of tommorrow. The reforms have broad political backing, but until now had lacked support from the unions, who had threatened to call another general strike.

The last such general strike, held on Sept. 29 hit industries and transport but had little impact on other sectors.

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