Trade unions organised mass protests across Spain in response to labour reforms announced by the country’s new centre-right government. The largest was in Puerto del Sol in central Madrid. The new laws are aimed at making it easier to lay- off workers and will reduce average salaries.
One man said: “I think it’s a way of taking jobs from parents, giving them to their children but for only half the salary.”
At 5.2 million unemployment in Spain stands at nearly 23 per cent and is nearly 50 per cent among young people.
The government is arguing that the reforms will reduce unemployment, give workers more rights and increase competitiveness.
Sunday’s rallies were the first major protest against the new conservative administration.
However, on the last day of his party’s annual conference in Seville, prime minister Mariano Rajoy defended the new laws. He said they are the right reforms to ensure that Spain avoids becoming the European country that destroy the most jobs.