The Spanish Government has fined 11 Pamplona priests for preaching sermons which supported workers during a recent general strike, informed sources said. The fines ranged from the equivalent of £40 to £4,000.
The Civil Governor's office informed the priests of the fines by letter, alleging they had attacked "fundamental principles and structures of the State.
The sermons, written jointly by the priests, denounced economic and political injustices, demand the right of workers to assemble freely and criticised what they called the abuse of State power, They were delivered in several Pamplona churches as workers staged strikes and demonstrations earlier this month in protest against layoffs.
One fine of £4,000, was paid by the Bishop of Pamplona for a priest. Father Bernardo Maisterra, who refused to pay it and was jailed in Madrid's top security detention centre, the Carabanchel prison.