Spanish austerity measures are cutting deep into the public sector. In Madrid around 100 police officers came out to protest against plans to cut their 13th month pay check which they receive at Christmas along with disability and sick leave benefits.
“We are protesting against the policy of the government of the Popular Party, against the series of cuts in the public sector in general and in the Spanish Police in particular,” said one protesting police officer.
Begonia Gallego, who usually works in the riot squad, said that by taking part she was crossing the line between the police and the public: “Just imagine a protest in which there are people who want more money or are unemployed. People who are affected just like us and you still have to contain them and you have no option other than to do your job, but you have sympathy for them.”
Police union leaders accuse the government of being short sighted in their bid to slash public spending. They claim the resultant job losses will severely hamper police work and the fight against crime.