Riot police called in as civil servants demonstrate in Murcia


– Dec 23
The civil servants were protesting at a new law which enforces cuts in regional spending

Anti riot police had to be called to protect the Murcia Regional Assembly on Thursday as more than 1,000 protestors collected in protest at the new law to cut the wages of civil servants.

Police charged the demonstrators and used their batons on several occasions as the crowd shouted slogan against what they consider to be the poor management of the regional government. Many of the demonstrators were civil servants, some carrying placards which read ‘Deputies, reduce your own wages’.

Inside the building the debate continued on the extraordinary measures designed to bring sustainability in the regional finances, which were revealed to have the second largest deficit in the country among the regional administrations.

The new law intends to save 300 million € cutting pay and changing labour conditions. Some civil servants will see their 35 hour working week increased to 40 hours, and there will be cuts in extras amounting in some cases to as much as 175 €.

PP regional president, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, arrived at the building early to avoid any problems, after a PP Senator, Pedro Manuel Hernández, was attacked by union activists on Wednesday night. Following that the PP demanded the resignation of the Government delegate, Rafael González Tovar, claiming he was in the crowd, and blamed the Prime Minister Zapatero for ‘creating a conflictive climate’.

The cuts were finally passed with the 28 votes of the PP in favour and the 14 of the PSOE and IU against.

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