- Around 45,000 people have gathered in the Spanish capital Madrid to demand higher wages
- The demonstrations are led by the largest unionist groups in the country
- Inflation in Spain remains high at 7.3%, while the unemployment rate has reached 12.6%
YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — Spain’s capital Madrid hit by massive protests as thousands of Spaniards flocked to the Plaza Mayor square on Thursday to demand higher wages.
The massive rally comes amid rising inflation in Spain. The country’s major labor unions organized the protest to push for higher pay to help fight the soaring cost of living. Inflation in Spain remained relatively high, with October reading at 7.3%.
Although this marks a drop in the readings of over 10% in June and July, it is still high. This is the first large protest since prices of everyday items shot over the roof.
Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party’s Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), along with the Workers Commission (Comisiones Obreras CCOO) of the Communist Party of Spain, led the rally. According to local reports, around 45,000 people attended the demonstration under the slogan “Salary or conflict.”
Spanish citizens protest rising inflation
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), inflation will bite the workers’ wages in Spain by an average of 4.5% in 2022.
The protest comes days after the Catholic charity organization Caritas warned in its report that three out of 10 Spanish families don’t have the financial resources to maintain “dignified living conditions.”
The demonstrators demand that Spain’s authorities and business leaders agree to increase the minimum monthly salary from the current 1,000 euros ($987). According to trade unionists, a wage hike is necessary to prevent households from falling into poverty.
“When consumer prices jump 10% and salaries rise by 1% it means workers are losing purchasing power fast. We are getting poorer every day, and the worst part is that there is a minority getting richer at our expense,”Reuters quoted 52 years old protestor Tomas Perez, who is a nurse and member of the UGT union.
As a result, the unionists demanded a wage increase of 4%-4.5% this year. They also expect a further 2.5%-3% in the following two years.
The current unemployment rate in Spain has also risen to12.6%.
Meanwhile, Spanish property prices have risen again by 8.0% year-on-year. The spike in home prices adds to the citizens’ voes who are left with larger mortgage payments.