The long arm of the law in Spain has been flexing its muscles, with police officers demanding more money and better working conditions.
Several thousand national police gathered in the centre of Madrid, carrying banners and shouting slogans deriding the prime minister and the interior minister. One officer complained that his working pattern is chaotic. Another said it is not unusual to spend 18 days away from their families if they are sent to Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla. Union leader Jose Angel Fuentes said there is no set working schedule. “We end when what we are doing ends. And that is not possible in the 21st century because everyone has a family.” Unions said their members in the national force earn 30 percent less than their counterparts employed by Spain’s regions. But the national government in Madrid said it would be difficult to meet the demands during times of financial crisis.