Euro crisis: Protests for Merkel in Madrid

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Euro crisis: Protests for Merkel in Madrid

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Spaniards showed their unhappiness at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Madrid on Thursday, blaming her for the impact that deep austerity measures are having on the country.

About 300 protesters waved banners and chanted slogans outside parliament and the German embassy.

Merkel was in Madrid for talks with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. She was keen to praise the government for reforms made to its public finances so far.

But there are fears Spain is just days away from requesting a full international bailout after a fund was made available to its cash-strapped banks earlier in the summer.

The two leaders’ talks came as the head of the European Central Bank announced a new bond-buying scheme which Spain could take advantage of.

Mario Draghi has warned that the cash would come with “strict and effective” conditions for countries that use it.

Rajoy refused to say whether the Spanish government would tap the programme. Both leaders maintained that they had not discussed the conditions Madrid would have to meet for the ECB to start buying its bonds.