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Protests in Spain and Italy against 'golden rule'

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Protests in Spain and Italy against 'golden rule'
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Anger about plans to limit government spending to deal with the euro zone debt crisis was seen in two countries on Tuesday.

In Spain, people took to the streets of Madrid complaining about proposed constitutional changes that would cap public spending at a set percentage of GDP. The protesters demanded a referendum on this change to the constitution, which has only been amended once since Spain became a democracy in 1978. However, the reform is likely to go ahead.

The general strike in Italy against austerity measures also focused on plans for the same cap on government spending based on GDP known as the new ‘golden rule’. Ministers are expected to vote on this on Wednesday, as well as a raft of other measures including a rise in VAT and a special tax on people earning over 300,000 euros. The new package aims to cut Italy’s deficit by 45.5 billion euros. Demonstrations took place in cities across the country, disrupting public transport including flights.