Palma.—Last week the IMF advised Spain to ease up on its austerity plans because they were doing more harm than good to the economy and employment market and yesterday, it was in Palma where thousands of people under the slogan “No limits” took to the streets to voice their opposition to the government's failing policies.

With unemployment at a record high and some experts warning that the number of people out of work could continue rising to around the 8 million mark, the public made it clear that they are not happy and union leaders issued some stern warnings to the political leaders.

No bread winners
While union leaders called for a social and political pact to try and address and resolve the region's mounting problems, they also warned that the public are reaching breaking point.

With 55'000 homes in the Balearics without a bread winner, the situation is becoming critical and Katiana Vicens, Secretary General for the CCOO general workers'' commission in the Balearics, warned that patience is running thin. “They (the public) have no more patience and both the local and national governments need to begin listening to the general public, the electorate and introduce an ambitious social and political plan.” However, the unions were not united calling three different demonstrations which angered the Secretary General of the UGT general workers' union, Lorenzo Bravo. “If we could have presented the government with a united front, because we all feel the same way, we would have made much more of an impact, but, at least the people came out in their thousands and we just hope that they are listened to by the politicians.” Across the country, where the government has so far managed to avoid a full blown international rescue, unions organised 82 protests.
PM wants patience
Spanish unemployment is at a record 27.16 percent and union UGT called on workers “to make perfectly evident the total failure of the austerity policies ... which in our country is confirmed in the facts,” and they did from Palma to across the nation.

But, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has declared he “will not change anything: neither the government or its economic strategy.” The announcement has come only a few days after the publication of Spain's latest unemployment figures, which now shows more than 6 million people are without work (the equivalent of 27.19 per cent of the workforce), and against a backdrop of economic austerity demanded by EU authorities.

However, “'patience', which the country is rapidly running out of, should be based on expectations,” newspapers complained, adding that no expectations are possible “in the absence of any effort to implement indispensable structural reforms, and in an ongoing situation that is leading to disaster.” And yesterday, not only were their placards demanding that the Balearic President, Jose Ramon Bauza resign, the Spanish royal family came under attack for the Duke of Palma's involvement in an alleged corruption scandal which is still being investigated here in a Palma court, while others proclaimed “this May 1 all I've got to celebrate is that I'm unemployed.” Biel Caldentey, Secretary General of the STEI-i, accused the government of laughing at the public. “They claim can do nothing to save out jobs when they're busy saving the banks...”