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Pain in Spain

The new right-wing Spanish government has announced education spending cuts as part of a drive to reduce public expenditure by 4.3 per cent this year.

Some 8.1 billion pesetas (Pounds 40m), 0.78 per cent, will be cut from the education and science budget, just as secondary school reforms are being implemented.

Exactly where the axe will fall has still to be spelled out by the new education minister, Esperanza Aguirre. Plans to build secondary schools and retrain teachers could now be at risk.

Virgili Borrell, education spokesman for the trade union Comisiones Obreras, points to the Right's manifesto promise to give education priority. "There is a clear contradiction between the government stance before and after the elections," he says.

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