Spain economic crisis: Your stories
- 13 June 2012
- From the section Europe
An economic crisis that has been building in Spain for years has reached a head in the past week, with the country accepting a rescue package for its banks worth up to 100bn euros.
The country is already suffering the highest rate of unemployment in the EU, tough austerity measures, and escalating interest rates on its public debt.
With Greece possibly on the verge of exit from the euro, many now see Spain as the front line of the eurozone debt crisis.
BBC News website readers have been telling us about life during "la crisis economica".
Olga Cornejo, Burgos
I am a teacher in Burgos and a union member. There are just so many cuts in the public services, everyone is very angry and fighting the government. We are part of the Green Tide movement for education. Today I was helping organise a big public demonstration against education cuts. We want public education for all.
This government wants us to pay for the misdeeds of the banks and the politicians and their bad investments. The government is in a race to deceive us - one day they say they don't need a bailout, yet the next day there has to be a bailout.
We understand there is a problem but the fact is that the politicians haven't cut their own salaries. We need someone like Hollande, who has cut pay of his own government by 30% and made them sign a code of conduct.
The schools have no money. It is really ridiculous. The government refuses to give them the funding it has promised them, so schools are now in debt. The politicians saw they had reserves to pay for electricity and water and insisted that they had plenty of money, so cut their funds.
Every day I have to do the sums and make sure my budget is balanced. I have been teaching for 33 years, so I hope I am not going to lose my job, but every school is being forced to cut posts and it will keep happening, so I don't know.
I work in insurance, and the government is protecting my sector, so I think I will be OK. But most of my friends have no job and no hope of a job.
I feel betrayed by the politicians. I behaved myself, paid my taxes religiously, and now I have to pay for the wrongdoing of others.
It's like the EU pressures the government and the government responds to them. But we elected this government and it's leaving us behind.
The banks have debt, not me. We should let them fall, kill them off and deliver their assets to the Europeans.
Bankia's directors get millions of euros while those who lose their homes get nothing.
Five years ago, there was no unemployment, now every vacancy has 1,000 applications. People can apply for jobs that they will never get.
It just gets worse and worse. People were buying 4x4 cars worth 60,000 euros and large holiday homes on the coast. They took loans and credit cards. And of course they can't afford it now incomes have come down. We work more hours than everyone else but people are struggling.
I actually voted for the People's Party (PP) this time. I thought maybe they would lead the economy better. But they just picked the obvious solutions, raising prices so the poorest are the hardest hit.
We still have tapas, we still have tourists, but we really need a big change here. I studied economics and the system is modelled on the logical behaviour of people, but people don't behave like that, they use their hearts. We need a socially responsible capitalism that doesn't make the poorest pay the most. I am afraid that change will only happen in a violent way, like in the French Revolution.
Ed Aguilar, Almeria
Four years ago, the recession caught us head on. I had to leave my family here and look for work in London. For two years I was sending back money to my children.
I think the problem here is the labour laws. They are so rigid. It costs heaven and earth to get rid of a bad employee. If you have a new guy that can do the job standing on his head, he is still cheaper to get rid of then someone who's been there for six years but can't do a thing.
I don't believe 25% of Spanish adults are unemployed. I know people who are claiming benefits but still have a job. Businesses take them off the books to save redundancy and social security costs.
And it's also about the attitude to work. It's better in Madrid and Barcelona, but customer service is very poor here. You are asking them a favour to serve you. I went for a haircut this afternoon, and instead of just giving me a 20-minute haircut before they closed for lunch, they asked me to come back at 19:30. They'd rather go to lunch than earn a bit of money.
Interviews by Priya Shah