06/02/2013 07:13 GMT | Updated 06/02/2013 07:19 GMT

Seville Rubbish Strike: Andalusian City Blighted By Garbage As Workers Pay Row Reaches Ninth Day (PICTURES)

A potential health crisis could hit a Spanish city as piles of rubbish continue to grow on the streets because of a workers' strike now in its ninth day.

Foul smells emanate from towering tonnes of rubbish are blighting Seville, the Andalusian city that's long been a favourite with British tourists.


Stinking piles of rubbish line the streets in Seville

Around 6,000 tonnes of rubbish now threaten to topple onto pedestrians and some garbage containers have been set on fire in the south of the district, adding a criminal dimension to the growing problem.

Spain is currently battling the worst financial crisis it has seen for many years. More than 25% of Spaniards are unemployed, and the refuse cuts are the latest of a number of austerity measures the government has had to shoulder to avoid and international bailout.


The strike has entered its ninth day

Refuse workers from Lipasam, the municipal street cleaning company, are striking over demands they take a 5% pay cut and extend their working week to 37.5 hours. However the government has insisted local councils must make cuts to balance their books.

Their 1,600 employees are forced to operate a reduced service despite the strike, guaranteeing that 30% of rubbish will still be disposed of, especially outside places like hospitals and abattoirs.