Spain is suffering its first general strike in eight years.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "Much of Spanish industry ground to a halt, the capital's commuter trains and bus services slowed and small flashpoints of violence broke out in the early hours" as unions mount a challenge to the austerity plans and labor market overhaul that Prime Minister Zapatero instituted in order to stave off a financial crisis.


In recent weeks, Zapatero has been talking up the notion that the worst is behind them; he told the Wall Street Journal that "I believe that the debt crisis affecting Spain, and the euro zone in general, has passed".  Despite his optimism, Ireland and Portugal have been struggling badly.  It will be interesting to see what happens to Spanish bond yields in the aftermath of this strike.