On the streets of the capital of the eurozone’s fourth largest economy Spaniards vented their anger at financial cutbacks.
Tens of thousands converged on Madrid to protest at the cuts and tax rises introduced by Mariano Rajoy’s government. Spain is stuck in a double dip recession with unemployment close to 25 percent.
Many of the protesters were ferried to the city in buses by trade unions and other workers’ rights groups who organised the rally.
“Rajoy managed to do what no one has done before. He managed to unite Spain, against him of course,” said one protester, Concha Abril.
The government which came to power last November is adamant the austerity measures are vital.
“The government is aware it is asking for sacrifices from Spaniards but these sacrifices are absolutely unavoidable,” stressed Spanish Finance Minister, Luis De Guindos
He was speaking at a meeting of European finance ministers where he revealed he will unveil a new economic reform plan at the end of the month. Analysts said it raised expectations Spain may soon ask for financial help.