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Counting the Cost
Spain: The social cost of austerity
How will the prime minister's tough new austerity plan, imposed under EU pressure, impact the Spanish people?
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2012 12:20

Protesters say they cannot take any more pain, but the prime minister is still announcing new austerity measures.

With debt, budget cuts, unemployment, strikes and violent protests on the streets, Madrid has started to look a lot like Greece this week, as the reality of austerity in Spain came down, and came down hard.

At the start of the week, things actually looked good for Spain. The EU had agreed to loan Spain's banks billions of euros, and to give it an extra year to bring down the budget deficit.

But in return, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had to make more cuts.

The aim is to cut the budget deficit by almost $80bn, over two and a half years. But to do that sales tax will go up from 18 to 21 per cent. And there will be cuts to unemployment benefits and civil service pay.

People say they cannot take it anymore, but is there an alternative to more cuts?

Joining us from Barcelona is David Lizoain, a blogger at the Social Europe Journal and the Economy and Europe secretary for the Socialist Youth of Spain.

Also on Counting the Cost this week: The deadly side of the Farnborough Airshow: we focus on the defence deals done - who is buying, who is selling, and how much is it all worth?

Plus, trading on testosterone: A former Wall Street trader turned Cambridge scientist tells us about the psychology of risk and the difference between winning and losing millions.

And, building a future in Gaza: The Gaza Strip has seen its share of hard times in recent years, through war and an Israeli economic blockade. Despite that, Gaza's economy is on track for more growth this year, mostly driven by aid, but also by construction. The times are good for developers, but so many families still cannot afford a decent home. Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan looks at the skyrocketing property prices in Gaza.

 
Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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