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Spain: Parliamentarian Insults Millions of Unemployed People

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

During a meeting of congressional representatives on Wednesday, July 12, Spanish President Mariano Rajoy announced some of the harshest social cuts in the history of the Spanish democracy.  Aiming to comply with the demands of the European Union, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the BCE (Central European Bank), and the deficit, Rajoy's government has adopted measures that will neither resolve the country's largest problem — unemployment — nor the economic crisis.

Once the Prime Minister finished his speech, the members of his political party (Partido Popular-PP) began applauding the measures, this being a clear symptom of breaking the social pact between the political caste and the rest of the population.  After, Rajoy finished his speech suggesting cuts to unemployment benefits for Spanish citizens with the following phrase:

Se va a proceder a una revisión del modelo de prestaciones por desempleo garantizando que estas no generen efectos desincentivadores en la búsqueda de empleo siguiendo el ejemplo de algunos países de la Unión Europea

A review of the model for guaranteed unemployment benefits will be conducted, so that they don't generate disincentives to job hunting and follow the example of certain countries in the European Union

Amidst the applause, the Parliamentarian Andrea Fabra, yelled “Fuck them” [es], insulting millions of unemployed individuals in Spain as well as the rest of the political members attending the meeting, such as citizen representatives, with a gesture that crossed the line.

Image comparing the Italian minister (left) and the representatives of the Spanish government (right) upon hearing the announcement on cuts to unemployment benefits.

In a blog entitled Moe and Triana's “blo” [es], the author commented:

Andrea Fabra es militante del PP (Partido Popular) desde 1990, cuando entró a formar parte de Nuevas Generaciones. En el año 2000 con su progenitor (Carlos Fabra) a la cabeza pasa a ocupar una silla en la ejecutiva provincial del PP de Castellón. Se encuentra imputada en uno de los procesos judiciales abierto a su padre.

Andrea Fabra has been a militant member of the PP (People's Party) since 1990, when she joined New Generations.  In 2000, with her father (Carlos Fabra) in mind, she gained a seat in the provincial executive committee of the PP of Castellón.  She has been blamed for one of the judicial processes brought against her father.

Political groups attending the meeting, as well as netizens, did not hesitate to voice their outrage:
@alexizagEl “que se jodan” de Andrea Fabra es el verdadero programa del PP. Al menos es sincera.
@alexizag:  Andrea Fabra's “fuck them” is the PP's real agenda. At least she's sincere.
@iescolar: No confíen en que AndreaFabra dimita. Cosas bastante peores le toleran en el PP a su padre. http://kcy.me/6az9

@iescolar: Don't think that Andrea Fabra will resign.  They tolerated much worse things while her father was in the PP.  http://kcy.me/6az9 [es]

@hablandorepubli: Nos sumamos a #AndreaFabraHijaDePuta. Al anunciar los recortes en desempleo, grita “Eso, ¡que se jodan!”.

@hablandorepubli: We're joining team #AndreaFabraIsABitch [es].  Upon hearing the announcement about cuts to unemployment benefits, she yelled “Yes, fuck them!”

@a_lo_gonzo: Lo que hay que reconocerle a AndreaFabra es el resumir en tan pocas y conocidas palabras la política económica del Gobierno.
@a_lo_gonzo: We have to give AndreaFabra credit for summing up the Government's economic policy in so few and well-known words.
 @javier_parra¿Para cuando la ilegalización del PP por terrorismo económico? Andrea Fabra y los #DiputadosDelPPAplaudiendo, apología de la violencia
@javier_parraWhen will the PP be banned for economic terrorism?  Andrea Fabra and the #PPMembersApplauding [es] are justifying violence.
 @TRADMONTANA: Estoy indignado, q clase política hay #diputadosdelPPaplaudiendo a 1 medida muy dura para los desfavorecidos y 1 diputada gritando #quesejodan
@TRADMONTANA: I'm outraged, what kind of political policy is #PPmembersapplauding such a harsh measure for the disadvantaged and one member yelling #fuckthem
Disdainful blog entries on “To the one who yelled fuck them” [es] spread on the Internet.
People immediately created petitions online to demand the Parliamentarian's resignation [es], quickly getting more than 150,000 signatures in just a few hours.  Opposition groups have already asked for the representative's resignation, to which she and her parliamentary group issued the following response:
No va a abandonar su escaño. Por mucho que lo exija el PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español), Andrea Fabra no piensa dimitir. Y en el PP creen que no tiene que hacerlo porque lo ocurrido forma parte de la ”bronca parlamentaria”.
She will not give up her seat.  No matter how much the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) demands it, Andrea Fabra does not plan on resigning, nor does the PP believe she should because that which occurred is all part of “parliamentary quarrels.”
Cuts have been made to the following social services and benefits:
  • Benefits to help the unemployed for an extended period of time (they are covered for two years, but after six months the regulatory base will be reduced from 60% to 50%)
  • 20% reduction in the number of city councillors
  • VAT increase from 18% to 21%
  • Early retirement will be under review
  • Tax deductions for the purchase of a home are eliminated
  • Government employees will have less days off and an extra month's pay remains to be seen
  • 20% will be taken out of paychecks for political parties and labor unions
  • There will be a review of the unemployment benefits model

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

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