GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO TACKLE CRISIS

The government has allocated 24,000 million euros to alleviating the economic crisis over the next two years. The measures announced last Friday by Economy Minister Pedro Solbes included the 400 euros the Prime Minister promised to return during his election campaign. Homeowners will be able to renegotiate their mortgages free of charge, and the inheritance tax has been abolished. An ambitious worker retraining plan will start soon, especially aimed at people in the construction industry. Another measure will make it easier for people to remodel their properties and the construction industry will receive specially subsidies to build cheap housing. The Partido Popular’s spokesman on the economy, Cristobal Montoro, welcomed the fact that the government has finally admitted there is a serious economic crisis “caused by its neglect of the economic situation over the past few years”, but he said last week’s measures amounted to “trying put out a fire with a pail of water”. Other critics described the measures as “insufficient, unfair, improvised and contradictory”.

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