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Spain begins general strike

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This could be an important day for labor in Spain, as the strike is about mobilizing the country to highlight some of the "reforms" by the new government which may make strikes more difficult. The unemployment numbers in Spain continue to be painfully high and now the new austerity plan is likely to make the conditions even worse. On top of that, Citi analysts see problems ahead in the Spanish banking market that is overloaded with loans for a crumbling real estate market.

These are very tough times for Spain.

A strike has been called in Spain on Thursday - the first since Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy came to power.

The unions are angry about reforms that will make it easier to hire and fire workers. Their banners will read "Unfair - say 'no' to the labour reform law".

The government says these reforms are key to making Spain more competitive and eventually bringing down the country's chronic unemployment.

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