Spanish workers staged a second general strike this year as unions across Europe prepared the biggest coordinated protests yet against budget cuts that policy makers say are needed to end the region’s debt crisis.
In Spain, unions said most auto and metal workers joined the strike, even as demand for electricity was just 12 percent below usual. One of Portugal’s two biggest labor groups also called a strike. Partial walkouts are planned in Greece and Italy, and French unions are urging workers to join protest marches.
Even as he enjoys a parliamentary majority, Rajoy is seeking the support of the main opposition Socialist party for the changes, and negotiations are set to resume for a third day today. Banks, which are seeing an increase in protest graffiti at branches, have already agreed to a two-year freeze on evictions for “extreme” cases.