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Spanish civil guards protest over working conditions

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Spanish civil guards protest over working conditions

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Several thousand Spanish civil guards have marched through central Madrid to call for better working conditions.

The civil guards – famous for their shiny black hats – are employed by the military and aren’t usually allowed to hold protest rallies – but a court ruled that they should be able to do so on this occasion.

“We are not asking for money,” says this protestor. “We are asking for a working day similar to that of the police, which established fifteen years ago now.”

“We want bullet proof jackets for everyone and not one for every fifteen officers, we want to have a walky-talky for everyone, a torch for everyone…”

The Civil Guards have seen their wages drop by five per cent this summer under the austerity budget introduced by José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government.

In protest at the salary cut they have been refusing to hand out fines for traffic offences.