Organisers of Sunday’s nationwide protests against government cut backs in Spain expressed disappointment that fewer people turned out than expected.
Bad weather and it being a holiday weekend meant the numbers were down on last month’s general strike day although thousands did march in more than 50 cities.
In Madrid, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy justified the cuts. He told members of his conservative Popular Party that he realised raising taxes was not in the election manifesto but the public deficit must be reduced, “deep cuts now will prevent having to make more in the future”.
The government aims to make savings of around 27 billion euros with a further 10 billion to be made in healthcare and education spending. Opposition parties think Rajoy has got it wrong.
United Left leader Cayo Lara said: We will continue to protest in the streets to vindicate the essential public services, health, education, social services. And we’ll keep telling the government that there is an alternative to making cuts in order to solve the deficit and the alternative is to increase the revenue.”
More protests are expected this week in the country’s second largest city of Barcelona before the European Central bank holds its rate-setting meeting on Thursday.