Related: Ranks of jobless in Spain edge up toward 5 million

And those with jobs are NOT GETTING PAID?

"Many in Spain clinging to jobs without pay" by Suzanne Daley  |  New York Times, December 17, 2012

VALENCIA, Spain — Over two years, Ana Maria Molina Cuevas, 36, has worked five shifts a week in a ceramics ­factory, hand-rolling paint onto tiles. But at the end of the month, she often went unpaid.

Still, she kept showing up. If she quit, she reasoned, she might never get her money. And besides, where was she going to find another job? Last month, she was down to about $130, with a mortgage payment due.

‘‘On the days you get paid,’’ she said at home with her disabled husband and young daughter, ‘‘it is like the sun has risen three times. It is a day of joy.’’

Molina, who is owed about $13,000 by the factory, is hardly alone. Being paid for the work you do is no longer something that can be counted on in Spain, as the country struggles through its fourth year of economic crisis. With regional and municipal governments deeply in debt, even workers like bus drivers and health care attendants are not always paid.

Looks to me like the social contract has been broken, because bankers are still getting paid. Debt interest payments always come first.

But few workers in this situation believe they have any choice but to stick it out. None wanted to name their employers. They try to manage with occasional checks and partial payments on random dates. Spain’s unemployment rate is the highest in the eurozone, at more than 25 percent. And despite the government’s labor reforms, the rate has continued to rise.

Then maybe it is BECAUSE OF, huh?

‘‘Before the crisis, a worker might let one month go by, and then move on to another job,’’ said Jose Francisco Perez, a lawyer who represents unpaid workers. ‘‘Now that just isn’t an option. People now have nowhere to go and they are scared. They are afraid even to complain.’’

And who wants quiet and obedient slaves?

No one keeps track of workers like Molina. But the courts have become jammed with people trying to get back pay from a government insurance fund.

In Valencia, the unemployment rate is 28.1 percent, and the courts are so overwhelmed that processing claims takes three to four years. 

They earned the money and needed it yesterday!

Since the start of the crisis in 2008, the insurance fund has paid nearly 1 million workers back pay or severance. In 2007, it paid 70,000 workers. It is on track to pay more than 250,000 this year, and experts say the figures would be much higher if not for the logjam in the courts.

Often the unpaid workers, like Molina, whose company is in bankruptcy proceedings, hope their labor will keep a struggling operation afloat over the long run.

Unemployment benefits last only two years, they point out. But in the meantime, they cannot even claim unemployment benefits.

That's odd. I've been told by my media that Europe is full of overly-generous social programs.

The regional government would not address the dimensions of the problem, when questions were submitted in writing. Its statement said it was doing its best to pay its debts.

More than 300,000 companies have gone bankrupt in Spain over the last few years.

Molina said she has sometimes used her credit card to pay her mortgage.

And who benefits there?

But she considered herself luckier than most. At least her family has been able to lend her money.

Still, she has to fight off the anger. ‘‘I try not to let it get to me and, overall, not to pass the bitterness on to my family,’’ she said. ‘‘That’s not going to feed us.’’

Maybe you should go on strike like the police.


Related: Sunday Globe Special: European Exodus 

Or move.

The other crash:

"Spanish mourn train victims as investigation continues" by Yesica Fisch |  Associated Press,  July 30, 2013

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — Spanish royals and political leaders joined hundreds in Santiago de Compostela’s storied cathedral Monday evening to mourn the 79 people killed in last week’s train crash, as investigators prepared to examine the train’s ‘‘black box’’ data recorders for more clues into the country’s worst rail disaster in decades....

Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, and his sister, Princess Elena, attended the Mass at Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral, along with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

At the end of the hourlong service, the royal members kissed and shook hands with weeping members of the victims’ families sitting in the front pews.


"Train driver was speeding, on phone before crash" by Jorge Sainz and Barry Hatton |  Associated Press, July 31, 2013

MADRID — The accident cast a pall over the city, which is the last stop for the faithful who make it to the end of the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route that has drawn Christians since the Middle Ages. The crash occurred on the eve of annual festivities at the shrine, which subsequently were canceled.

The disaster also stunned the rest of Spain, with Spanish royals and political leaders joining hundreds of people in Santiago de Compostela’s 12th-century cathedral Monday evening to mourn the dead....


About those leaders:

"Spain’s leader resists calls to quit" by Ciaran Giles |  Associated Press,  July 16, 2013

MADRID — Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday he had no plans to bow to opposition parties’ demands that he resign after the publication of text messages in which he tells a former ruling party treasurer under a corruption investigation to ‘‘stay calm.’’

‘‘I am going to see out the mandate the Spanish electorate gave me,’’ he told reporters at a press conference with visiting Polish counterpart Donald Tusk. ‘‘This is a stable government that is going to fulfill its obligations.’’

Rajoy, who said neither he nor other party figures received illegal payments, did not deny exchanging text messages with Luis Barcenas, the now-jailed former Popular Party treasurer.

He said the messages demonstrated that the state ‘‘was not bowing to blackmail. This is a serious democracy.’’

A former senator, Barcenas was a top member of the party’s treasury for some 20 years until he resigned in 2009 on being named a suspect in a probe of illegal funding of the party.

The text messages, published by El Mundo on Sunday, date from before Barcenas was sent to jail.

In them, Rajoy tells the former treasurer to ‘‘stay calm’’ but advises him that the situation is difficult.

‘‘Luis, nothing is easy. But we are doing what we can,’’ one message says. ‘‘Cheer up.’’

Barcenas was jailed last month while he was awaiting possible trial on tax fraud and money-laundering charges after the National Court found he had held some $61 million in secret Swiss bank accounts. 

This as the SPANISH PEOPLE SUFFER under the lash of AUSTERITY!

Speculation has been rampant since then that he might try to drag the party and the government into the scandal.

Both the Swiss bank account and the slush fund investigations have rocked the party and the country.

They come while Spaniards are coping with harsh austerity measures, increased taxes, and tough economic reforms aimed at reducing debt and 27 percent unemployment.

During his appearance before a judge held behind closed doors, Barcenas gave details of making cash payments directly to Rajoy and Maria Delores de Cospedal, party secretary general, over a three-year period while Rajoy was Spain’s opposition leader, the newspaper El Pais reported. 

Looks criminal to me.


At least royalty are above it all:

"Spain king’s daughter suspected in corruption case" by Ciaran Giles |  Associated Press, April 04, 2013

MADRID —In another blow to Spain’s royal family, a court named Princess Cristina, the king’s daughter, as a suspect Wednesday in a corruption case involving her husband....

The court summons is a first for a member of the king’s immediate family. The Royal Palace expressed surprise at the judge’s decision....

The announcement comes after a year of health and image problems for King Juan Carlos, once one of Spain’s most popular figures, widely admired for his role in helping steer Spain to democracy in the 1970s. 

He doesn't look that popular, and it looks like all Spain's leaders are the cut from the same shit.


Time to secede from Spain:

"Spanish separatist parties make gains" New York Times, November 26, 2012

BARCELONA — Voters in Catalonia delivered victory to separatist parties in a regional election Sunday, raising the likelihood that Spain’s most powerful economic region will hold an independence referendum that Madrid has vowed to block.

But even as voters set up a fight with the central government by rewarding the independence cause, they delivered no clear message about who should lead it.... 

United you stand, divided you fall.

Indeed, despite the enthusiasm that the separatist drive has generated in Catalonia, Sunday’s vote also underlined divisions among the region’s 7.5 million citizens. In particular, there are questions over whether sovereignty demands should be limited to seeking fiscal concessions from Madrid or stretch far beyond that....