Spanish union calls for huge protests over austerity plan

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A Spanish union called Friday for widespread street protests against the socialist government's tough new austerity measures.

Leaders of the CCOO union "agreed on the need to organise a broad and sustained mobilisation in the streets and in businesses," it said in a statement.

It also confirmed its support for a June 2 strike by public service workers, announced Thursday by another major union, the UGT.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Wednesday announced austerity measures worth 15 billion euros over two years in a new bid to shore up Spain's public finances after stocks plunged last week over fears it could follow Greece into a debt crisis.

The plan includes a five-percent pay cut for public sector workers from June, and a pay freeze from 2011. Pensions except for the poorest will also be frozen in 2011.

© 2010 AFP

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