Sunday Nov 10, 201305:11 AM GMT
Rubbish piling up in Madrid as strike continues
Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:8AM
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Spanish garbage collectors have continued their indefinite strike over the government’s proposed lay-offs and wage cuts.

On Saturday, people in the capital Madrid started their fifth day of strike among huge piles of rubbish blocking narrow streets and emitting a foul stench.

After five days of strike, residents are demanding an urgent solution to resolve the crisis.

“I think the city hall is responsible because they are the ones who charge to collect the rubbish and they don’t write off any of the payments. So if they are responsible for charging, they should be the ones responsible for clarifying this and resolving it,” a Madrid citizen said.

Spain has implemented deep spending cuts in its public services sector in an effort to cope with one of the eurozone's highest public deficits. The Spanish government has been sharply criticized over austerity policies that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking millions of jobs with it.

The country’s official jobless percentage rate hit over 26 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Madrid would face five more years with a jobless rate of over 25 percent, unless the government does not implement new reforms including measures to assist firms in slashing wages instead of cutting staff.

According to a report published in October, the number of Spaniards living in severe poverty has doubled to around 3 million since the economic crisis.

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