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EUR 3bn social security bonus

Published on 24/02/2004

24 February 2004

VALLADOLID – Spain’s prime minister José María Aznar announced Tuesday the government is to give EUR 3 billion as a reserve fund for social security.

This means social security spending in Spain will rise to EUR 15 billion – which represents two percent of the national  funds.

Social security pays for pensions and other welfare costs.

The move was dismissed as pure electioneering by opposition parties in the
run-up to the general election on 14 March.

Aznar, who made the announcement in a speech in front of business leaders in Castilla y Leon in northern Spain, said when he came to power eight years ago the social
security funds were EUR 3 billion in deficit.

In a rhetorical question, he said he asked pensioners who they thought would be the political party which would in the future guarantee pensions.

Aznar said this addition to social security funds meant “a guarantee for all those citizens who work today and who aspire legitimately to be paid a pension in the future.”

But Miguel Sebastián, economic spokesman of the main socialist opposition PSOE party, claimed the state had a deficit of 1 percent.

He said there was a “great disguise” in the way the state hid this deficit and he dismissed claims by the government that there was a surplus in government funds.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

                                               Subject: Spanish news