In the belief that change is best determined in parliament rather than on the streets, the Spanish government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero ignored the recent general strike.
It is showing solidarity with France, which too is airily unresponsive to mass protests: Greece is averaging a general strike each month but the government ignores them. The Spanish government is set to increase the age of retirement to 67; it is currently 65.
Fuelling discontent it intends to extend the period of computation for determining a pension’s value from 15 to 20 years. Insecurity and a public awareness that they are paying for the mistakes of the political elite and banking classes could lead to civil unrest.
By Paul Polke