News / Europe

Spain's Deficit Worsens as Europe Reels into New Year

Spain is getting ready to start the new year with a new round of austerity measures, hoping to contain a growing deficit.

The country's new government announced $11.5 billion in fresh spending cuts Friday, saying the budget was in worse shape than the previous government had acknowledged.  It also announced a freeze on pay for civil servants and a two-year income tax hike.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the cuts are just "the beginning of the beginning" and that the government would be forced to take "extraordinary measures" in 2012.

The spending cuts and tax hikes come as the new conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the country's budget deficit was bigger than anticipated - totaling 8 percent of Spain annual income and not the 6 percent that was expected.

Despite the problem, Mr. Rajoy's government did say it would increase pensions by 1 percent, making good on a campaign pledge.

Spain's economy has already been hit hard by unemployment, with the country's more than 20 percent unemployment rate the highest in the European Union.

Meanwhile, Germany's finance minister is offering hope for 2012.  In a newspaper interview, Wolfgang Schaeuble said he believes the 17-nation eurozone will bring the debt crisis under control in the new year.

Despite the gloom that has hung over much of Europe, Parisians are trying to usher in the new year in style.

Many have been out shopping for luxury items - like shellfish, lobster and champagne - for a special meal.

Some shoppers say they are trying not to think too much about the hard economic times and want to treat themselves and their families.  But fishmongers say most shoppers are being more thrifty with their spending than in years past.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid