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Spanish Struggles Spark Unrest

This week has played host to some significant instances of European unrest. Anti-austerity protests in Greece ended with violence and more clashes between demonstrators and police occurred in similarly troubled Spain.

As regional leaders’ dissent and speculation regarding whether or not the nation will seek a sovereign bailout grows, protests in the Spanish capital are becoming increasingly frequent.

Today Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his ministers are meeting to approve an austerity budget for 2013. The minsters will break down how the country will meet its commitment of cutting the deficit by a minimum of 18 billion Euro’s, in direct defiance of the protestor’s demands for the premier to overturn his budget-cutting drive and resign from power.

During last night’s demonstrations three people were arrested and three were injured. Although Rajoy asserted that the ‘immense majority’ of Spaniards weren’t demonstrating, the Spanish leader faces even tougher times ahead as he attempts to prove to the world that he can tackle the crisis.

Antonio Barroso, a political analyst with Eurasia Group, stated: ‘Rajoy is likely to face a very tough end of year in terms of social discontent. Protests are likely to continue in the future, and the overall degree of mobilization could increase if trade unions decide to call for a general strike.’

Maintaining Spanish unity is becoming a real problem. Catalan President Artur Mas is urging the region to seek self-determination and other regional leaders are becoming similarly disenchanted with the government’s attempts to improve Spain’s prospects.

Socialist opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba commented that ‘Spain is increasingly slipping out of [Rajoy’s] hands. There are clear fractures in Spain and the one I’m most worried about is social fracture.’

The outlook for the Euro has dimmed in response to the current unrest. Despite initially rallying after the European Central Bank announced bond-buying plans to aid the most indebted nations, it has slipped in recent days, declining against the majority of its peers.


The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2592

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6212

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5571

The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2874

The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.7941

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