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As part of the big austerity plan, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the suspension of a special Christmas bonus to public workers and other senior officials.

In addition, a few of the “moscosos”, or free days, will be cut off. These are the lighter sides of the public sector reforms: Rajoy also declared a cut of 30% in the number of councilors.

Spain has a relatively high number of politicians in comparison with its population. Critics like to compare Germany and Spain in that manner: Spain has 300,000 more official political posts than Germany, even though Germany’s population is around 60% larger than Spain’s.

Among other measures that stood out in Rajoy’s “tijeretazo” are the raise of  the mainVAT from 18% to 21%, and cutting of unemployment benefits.

While Spain officially escaped an official bailout for the sovereign and the dreaded EU / ECB / IMF troika, severe austerity was probably agreed upon, in return for the direct aid that Spanish banks will receive.

Further reading:  Downgrades? Spanish Banks Should All Have a Perfect AAA Rating