Trade unions in Spain have announced plans to protest against Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s failed attempts to save the dwindling Spanish economy that has led to one in five Spaniards being out of a job.

The economy remains in recession after almost two years and with unemployment at 4 million and over one million Spanish households with no bread-winners, the future for Spain looks grim.

Protests are planned for Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The strikes were sparked as a result of Zapatero’s proposal to increase the retirement age from 65 to 67, which Spaniards see as an unfair shifted responsability for the country’s financial woes onto the aging and working people.

“They are making a grave error. Raising the retirement age goes against workers’ rights,” said Mr Mendez, leader of the General Worker’s Union (UGT).

Many forecasts predict that the economy in Spain will continue to shrink and unemployment could rise to 22 per cent. The rising budget deficit in Spain has recently prompted bond markets to worry about a similar crisis as the one currently unfodling in Greece.