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Spain corruption protesters clash with police

Several injured or arrested after thousands of people, calling for PM's resignation, demonstrate in Madrid.

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 06:56
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Several people were injured or arrested after the protest turned violent at night [EPA]

Thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal have clashed with police in the capital, Madrid.

Several people were injured or arrested after the protest turned violent towards midnight on Thursday.

The protesters jammed downtown streets outside the Madrid headquarters of the ruling Popular Party, insisting that Rajoy should leave office because of allegations he received payoffs from a slush fund before his party won elections in 2011.

Thousands more also demonstrated in the city of Barcelona.

An Associated Press photographer saw one protester with his face bloodied, a police officer hurt by a flying projectile and at least two protesters arrested by authorities.

The demonstrations came after opposition leaders this week called for Rajoy to explain himself before parliament or face a censure vote.

The prime minister on Monday brushed off demands he should resign after text messages emerged showing him comforting a former political party treasurer under investigation over the slush fund and secret Swiss bank accounts.

The treasurer has claimed Rajoy took under-the-counter payments, accusations denied by the prime minister.

The spectacle of alleged greed and corruption has enraged Spaniards hurting from austerity and record unemployment.

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