Spain Today: Retiree social security reform, Wedding prices in Spain, Tourist death while being robbed

These are the trending news headlines in Spain on Thursday March 16, 2023

– In contrast to neighboring France, Spain’s left-wing government has secured the support of unions to reform the country’s public pension system. The leaders of the country’s two main labor unions, UGT and CC.OO., stood alongside the Minister of Social Security to declare the plan “historic.” The reform is expected to be vital to ensure pensions for Spain’s growing retired population, which is set to increase from 10 to 15 million people by 2048. Meanwhile, in France, labor unions continue to hold massive street protests against President Emmanuel Macron‘s plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, which he says is necessary to sustain public pensions for the future.

– Wedding celebrations in Spain have seen a surge since the pandemic, with Spanish society valuing social conventions and celebrations more than budget constraints. According to Statista, Spain spends almost €22,000 on average for a wedding, making it the second-highest spending country after the US. This is despite countries like France, Italy, and Canada having a higher average salary. Luis Ayuso Sánchez, professor of Sociology at the University of Granada, explains that the Spanish view weddings as a way to expand their family network and show society their support network, which historically was fundamental in the absence of a welfare state. José Melo, VP of sales at The Knot Worldwide, suggests that inflation and the trend for more extravagant weddings are possible factors for the rise in wedding costs.

– A Canadian tourist has died in Barcelona after falling from a bridge while being violently attacked and mugged. The incident occurred in the San Martin district of Barcelona on Wednesday morning. Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police force, suspect that the tourist’s fall was not accidental, and that the attack was related to a violent robbery. The police are currently investigating the case and trying to confirm if the incident was a robbery. This comes after shopkeepers in some parts of Barcelona have reported a severe wave of robberies, with thieves breaking into shops using manhole covers to break the windows and doors.

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