Spaniards protest against austerity cuts

Rallies staged by several organisations in Madrid against high unemployment, austerity and political corruption.

    Spaniards protest against austerity cuts
    Thousands gathered in Madrid on Saturday under the the slogan 'Bread, work, shelter and dignity' [AFP]

    Tens of thousands of people have marched in Spain's capital in protests against high unemployment, austerity and political corruption.

    Gathering under the banner of Dignity, public servants, students, unionists, the unemployed and pensioners joined the demonstration in Madrid on Saturday.

    More than 250,000 people from nearly 100 different organisations took part in the marches as similar protests also took place in other regions of the country.

    The recovery of public services and universal health-care are two of the many needs people are demanding.

    "We want a viable country in order to be able to have life projects. We want to recover public services, we want to recover the universal health-care we used to have," said Karla, a university student from Madrid.

    "We want a dignified life in this country. The youth jobless rate is 54 percent in this country. This is shameful."

    The latest demonstrations have garnered more support due to a series of corruption scandals involving members of the ruling conservative People's Party (PP).

    Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, laid out on Friday a series of measures to tackle corruption, one day after the health minister stepped down in what was the first party resignation linked to corruption cases that have dogged his party.

    Protests have become commonplace due to an economic crisis in the country that began in 2008 saw Spain's public deficit soaring to one of the highest in the eurozone.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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