Spanish residents have been sending their reaction to new budget cuts announced by their Prime Minister.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced a 5% cut to public sector salaries, as well as reductions to pensions and regional government funding, amid concerns that problems in Greece may spread across the eurozone.
GIULIO, MADRID, SPAIN
Cut new jobs in the public sector and you will radically change the Spanish economy.
Spain will go through rough time. But in my opinion, it will be good.
At the moment they have literally 100 people doing one person's job.
To be elected in Spain, politicians have to promise public sector jobs, whether they are needed or not.
That's the only way to get elected. Almost all Spaniards works for the state in a way or another.
The politicians in Spain are going to have a very rough time.
DAVID SIDLEY, TENERIFE
I have lived in Tenerife for eight years now and have never seen it so bad.
Where I work is just barely staying afloat, but every day it gets worse.
I work in the construction industry - I run a machinery hire company. We used get 30 or more clients a day. Now, if we are lucky, we get three a week.
We can't keep going at this rate. I read in the local paper that unemployment here is higher than the national average which is over 20% now. I see it everyday, in front of the dole offices and people begging outside supermarkets and people trying to sell us their old machines.
With less people working I fail to see how pushing up taxes is going to make a dent in the budget deficit. It will affect the working population.
Freezing public sector recruitment again affects the unemployment figures. And as for reducing spending - it's a joke. There are so many projects here in Tenerife that have been started but never finished. Where did that funding from Madrid and the European handouts go to?
The first thing they should do is stop the corruption. It's worse than the UK and the expenses scandals. Tenerife has become expensive with nothing to show for it. If mainland Spain is in the same situation then god help us.
I don't now what the answer is but one thing is for sure is that the normal person will have to take the brunt of it for mistakes made by banks and politicians. Fair? I think not.
MORE OF YOUR COMMENTS
I work for a private company in the railway sector. I have no discount although my wage is minimum. Military staff have a discount - the state pays, even though they earn more than me. A member of my family who works for the public administration gets free return trips to Barcelona by high speed train, plus hotels and a course in university. Thousands of Euros for that member of my family. None to me. They are reducing jobs in my company even though railway costumers are increasing. The member of my family has a secure job. I wonder if things like this also happen in Germany and France? I live in a country where some have to be without jobs or with little earnings because others have too much privilege.
I have lived in Spain since I was 19 years old - I am now 58. The cuts in Spain should be with the government. It is a mystery where the government money goes. My husband was made redundant a year ago after 35 years in the same job. He is entitled to two years unemployment benefit of 800 Euros per month. After that he will receive just 400 Euros per month. My son in law also has the misfortune to be unemployed and receives 400 Euros per month with two small children to feed. Everyone thinks that to live in Spain is so glamorous. Look again. Are they now going to cut what little we have? The electricity, gas and water bills have already gone up 30%. We cannot survive on any less.
M Carrion, Palafrugell, Girona
I hope that politicians cut expenses from their own earnings instead of from people of the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid. Always the same people have to tighten their belts. Another main subject for the government is to improve measures to control corruption: politicians and tax evasion. It seems that those who are corrupt escape unpunished from justice. My cuts: Royal family; Defence; Top public office (in Spain a mayor can earn more than the prime minister). Sadly, in all countries those are the points where cuts are never made.
Snosko, San Sebastian
I personally don't see how increasing taxes is going to benefit the Spanish economy in recovering from this crisis. How is decreasing consumer spending going to help the economy? I'd like to see this question answered in a clear and detailed form from Mr Zapatero.
Crystal Terri D'Cruz, La Rioja
We do not need public spending cuts: we need a better distribution of how these are spent (more education, research and development, technology). We do not need more taxes overall, we need more measures to fight tax evasion at all levels. We need exemplary leadership that does things right and punishes those who don't. We need to foster efficiency and production by helping those who work well, and blaming those who cheat.
I agree with the government in cutting the wages of civil workers, but the problem we have in Spain is that we have three different administrations, national, regional and local with its own civil workers, and ruled by different parties. The government can decide about its own spendings but they cannot decide about that spending in Andalucia, for example. So much more has to be done. I think these new measures are appropriate, but more should be done - like opening unemployment offices more hours, not only from 8am to 1pm. I can't believe that with a 20% unemployment rate they close so soon. I think also that all politicians should reject their extra salaries, I think cutting 15% is not enough. Finally, in Spain you can access to social security without being legal (you can register yourself without having a permanent visa), that's a big expense for the state.
Currently, I am a civil servant. Specifically, a professor at the University of the Basque Country. What we see here is a need to tighten tax controls in order to avoid fraud. Here, we've seen for ages that many autonomous employees, enterprise managers and some liberal professionals have had it too easy for committing fraud. So, apart from the necessary measures announced by the president, if there were any budget to grow, it should be used to hire more fiscal inspectors.
Jon Charterina, Bilbao
I fully support the cutting of civil servant's wages. They have a secure job for life and are underproductive, they should share the burden of the global downturn. Now it's time to convince the banks to acknowledge their loses so that real estate prices can actually adjust and the unions that reducing privileges in exchange for more quality employment for younger people is a good thing.
The biggest problem in Spain is the presence of a tolerated, huge and increasing black economy. Tax evasion/avoidance is rife at every level and the acceptance of illegal employment is commonplace. Knee-jerk politics prevail and medium to long term projects are never seen through. Today, Spain has 18 fully functional governments - one central government and 17 devolved autonomous governments! It is this political government system that is in serious need of review, cut-backs or simple elimination. Added to this, Spain must radically improve its revenue capture, employment controls and social security system. That said, it is great here!
El Guirri, Almeria
The point is that up to now, Spanish economic policies had no concrete direction, so the stability of the system shifted to insecurity in the whole economy. At least the government has now assumed the EU's duty of new budget cuts, which provides better financial conditions. It is not too late yet.
Jose Agreda, Soria
At present the situation in Spain is hopeless, as regards the lack of the government ability to put in place austerity measures. Basically, the government announcements are just words that do not materialise. But this is nothing new. Step number one would be to acknowledge the real magnitude of the economic crisis; but instead the Spanish government and most of the Spanish media are bombarding us with very optimistic news about the economic recovery of Spain. From my perspective, the austerity measures are not tough enough to tackle the current deficit and they also should include not so popular measures like the reduction of the public sector, review and harmonisation of salaries across the public sector; and more fraud control in the unemployment benefits. Moreover, apart from increasing taxes they should also include more effective measures to stimulate the creation of jobs and companies in the private sector.
Zapatero is acting now only due to the fact that the European Council has imposed on him measures for the development of the Spanish economy in order to protect the European economic and monetary systems. He has pointed out in various occasions that a situation like the one currently existing in Greece could not occur in Spain, and now he is adopting initiatives - all of them presented from Brussels - aiming to avoid another "Greek case". What the Spanish prime minister presents as independent measures within the framework of a new anti-crisis plan, are nothing but actions directed from European institutions, carried against the will of the Spanish government and heavily improvised.
Diego Spottorno, Madrid
Cuts should be made in government spending in the autonomous regions with reference to translating all public documents into four independent languages. Spain has 1,000,000 civil servants - too many. Mr Zapatero has no credibility. His cabinet manipulate the media and the public. He now has a lot of talking and convincing to do to the rest of Europe.
With this president, Spain will go bankrupt.