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Both sides claim victory in Spanish general strike

Both sides claim victory in Spanish general strike
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The Spanish general strike stretched into the night after a day during which union leaders claimed a great victory, but the turnout reportedly fell short of expectations.

In general the mood was one of determined, but peaceful opposition to the government’s austerity policies.

“It has been a great success with a high turnout, no-one will be able to contest that with numbers and pictures. It has been a massive response of democracy and freedom,” said the CCOO leader Ignacio Fernandez Toxo.

Today Prime Minister José Luis Rodruigez Zapatero presents his 2011 budget in parliament for approval, and he has already said that there is no turning back from the strong medicine Spain needs to reduce its public spending burden.

There were some clashes, the worst of which were in Barcelona, where a police car was burned and officers fired rubber bullets, and 38 arrests were made around the country, mostly for blocking roads.