Demonstrations have taken place in more than 50 towns and cities across Spain, as people vented their anger about austerity measures that will mean cuts to education and the health system.
Also facing Spain’s record unemployment levels, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Conservative government is trying to reduce public spending by 10 billion euros a year and stop Spain becoming the next epicentre of the euro zone crisis.
“We are protesting against the cuts and the deterioration of workers’ labour rights. It is clear that we are suffering a setback of more than 30 years. The situation now is disturbing, but what’s more disturbing is the situation that our children could inherit,” said Santiago, a protester in Madrid and a member of the UGT union.
Rajoy has promised to cut the deficit by more than 30 billion euros this year alone.
Cost-cutting measures include ending free prescription medicines for pensioners and increasing university fees.