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Euro Zone Crisis: Pay Cut For Spanish King, No Time For Siestas

Euro Zone Crisis: Pay Cut For Spanish King, No Time For Siestas

Spain’s royal family is taking a pay cut. The royal budget of €8.3 million will lose €100,000 with King Juan Carlos seeing a €20,900 ($25,660) reduction from his €292,000 salary. His son and heir, Prince Felipe, will lose about €10,450 euros from his salary, which would then be about €131,000 euros.

For both the King (under fire after going on a “lavish” hunting trip in April in Botswana) and the Prince, the cuts mean a wage reduction of about 7.1 percent.

As the BBC notes, “the gesture has received a mixed reception on websites and social media, with some quipping that the royal family might now struggle to make ends meet” (though one suspects they won’t be lining up to receive food from the Indignants).

The cuts to the budget of the King and his household were announced as civil servants (including police and firefighters) have taken to the streets in Madrid. Last week, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced €65 billion of “exceptional measures to exceptional circumstances,” of spending cuts and tax hikes including €3.5 billion cuts to public spending, a 21 percent increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) and no more Christmas bonuses. The latter usually came in the form of double pay for workers in December; the “no Christmas bonus” cut amounts to about a 7 percent reduction in salaries.

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial broken record, more cuts (and more protests) are likely. The Guardian lists three more signs of the economic challenges facing Spain as of Wednesday:

1) The Bank of Spain reported that the ratio of bad loans on bank balance sheets rose to 8.95 percent in May from 8.72 pecent in April. Non-performing debt now totals €155.8 billion.

2) The amount of money in deposits in Spanish banks fell by 5.75 percent in May.

3) House prices in Spain have fallen 8.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012, as compared with 2011.

Unemployment in Spain is currently 24.6 percent and over 50 percent for younger persons; the country is in its second recession in three years and its economy is not predicted to improve until 2014.

In such a climate even the traditional Spanish long lunch and siesta are not immune, Reuters reports. While the siesta, an afternoon nap to get through hot afternoons, is for the most part “defunct,” more Spaniards are now foregoing two-to-three-hour midday lunches to work longer hours. Instead of eating out, they are (in the way of many Americans) bringing lunch from home and eating at their desks. Parents, unable to pay lunch fees of some 150 euros at state-run schools, are sending children to school with previously unheard of packed lunches. Austerity has come to Spain at every level.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Euro Zone Crisis Pulls Down Global Economic Growth Forecast

Euro Zone Crisis: What More Austerity Means

Euro Zone Crisis: For Twenty More Years?

 

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Photo of Juan Carlos and his wife, Sofia, via Wikimedia Commons

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21 comments

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5:04PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

I wish Italian politicians will have their pay cut off as well. Filthy rich bastards.

10:17PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Franco restored the Monarchy. One of the 4 branches of support Franco enjoyed in the Civil War were Monarchists. The others were the Church, the Army, and the very wealthy. He bypassed the heir, Prince Juan, and named as heir, Juan's son, Prince Juan Carlos, sent him to military school in Zaragoza and nurtured him as the successor. When the time arrived Juan Carlos was no Franquista. He had one major moment when Franquista radicals kidnapped the Cortes in 1977. He stepped in and said 'NO', maintining Spain as a Democratic Monarchy. He has been a good King as has Queen Sophia. I am sure they are willing to 'share the sacrifice'.

6:05PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

It's good to know the King is willing to make sacrifices in the new economy...

I am just wondering why his salary was not cut first.

I am also wondering if the Spanish Parliament took pay cuts.

3:08PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I think all countries should stop supporting 'Royal" families that are only figure-heads. What a waste of money; money that could go to support their country and countrypeople in various ways.

1:06PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I just can´t believe that in the 21st century the citizens of those nations have to support the worse kind of bloodsucking parasites like these kings and queens and all their relatives, that is outrageous, get real jobs, I say OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!!!!

9:31AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I wish the UK Government would stop giving our Queen's scrounging relatives money, expenses and free trips in helicopters to golf courses half a mile down the road (I'm talking about Prince Andrew) for doing sod all.

8:37AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Oh STeve, you are so out of touch. I lived in Spain in the 60s and under Franco, who would be a republican in today's america, Spain lived VERY austerely and with a Guardia Civil on most street corners carrying a machine gun. It was only after he went that the royalty came on the scene. Spain lived under dictatorship for years and if we allow thoughts like yours to infect us so will we.

8:16AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

go away Steve.

8:14AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Now for a drastic pay cut for the American "King" as well..... roll on November!

7:36AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I cannot understand why the Spanish reinstated the monarchy. Admittedly we English did it too, much to my chagrin, but our excuse is that it was in 1651. Monarchy is an outdated concept.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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