Outside Little England, Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero "declares war against the CEOE", the Spanish equivalent of the CBI in the UK, announcing a series of anti-crisis measures that will include an increase in dole handouts. Can you imagine New Labour having the cojones to do that in the UK?
According to government sources, "80% of the Spanish people don't want [the introduction of] freedom to dismiss or cuts to social security. Yet this is what CEOE are asking for". In a press statement, the Department of Work said that the CEOE's behaviour makes an agreement "materially impossible".
Spanish daily El Pais reports that, in the next few weeks, Zapatero will highlight his pro-welfare credentials: "standing up for workers and the unemployed in time of crisis, as well as for eight million pensioners, pointing out that [CEOE leader] Díaz Ferrán want to jeopardise Social Security and reduce protection for unemployed and workers alike through the introduction of free dismissal measures".