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Spain WCup bonus sparks anger among lawmakers

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 7, 2014 at 11:03 am •  Published: June 7, 2014

MADRID (AP) — Lawmakers reacted with anger Saturday over the 720,000-euro ($980,000) bonus each Spain player will get if the national team wins the World Cup in Brazil.

Captain Iker Casillas and vice-captain Xavi Hernandez signed the deal with Spain's football federation June 3 on behalf of the 23 players. It was an increase from the 600,000 euros each player received when Spain won the 2010 tournament.

Lawmakers Pablo Martin Pere and Susana Ros of the opposition Socialist party criticized the premium as "disproportionate" and "an insult to citizens" given the recent economic crisis.

Lawmaker Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida tweeted that Spain would pay "more than twice" the bonus Germany would if it wins the tournament.

"Are we twice as rich as Germany?" his tweet said.

Germany's team will receive 300,000 euros if they win, having kept the same agreement they struck when they participated in Euro 2012.

Spain's economy began to crumble in 2008 with the collapse of its bloated real-estate sector, and unemployment soared to 26.1 percent at the close of 2013.

"It's brutal," said food wholesaler Juan Burgos, 44, who had traveled from northern Navarra to sell produce in Madrid. "With so many people in Spain hurting so badly, those kind of payments don't fit with our everyday reality."

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