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Catalan students march against education cuts

Catalan students march against education cuts
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University students have been marching in protest in Barcelona over cuts in education subsidies and a rise in tuition fees.

The demonstration took place on the same day as eurozone and ECB officials met for a summit in the Catalan capital.

Security was tight, with a big police presence to deter any bent on violence, but the protests were mostly peaceful.

“We shouldn’t fear all these police. We must continue with our strike and not be afraid, whether it’s against the European Central Bank or whoever,” said student Nicky Berenguer.

In a nearby Catalan town, Santa Coloma de Grananet, is another illustration of how the recession is biting deep into Spanish society.

Geriatric assistant Barbara Castillo bought a 40,000 euro flat her two years ago for her and her son. But she has fallen behind on the mortgage payments, and the bank wants to evict her. No way say her neighbours, who have formed a protection committee.

“Those who caused the crisis and who have not been held accountable are having a meeting to carry on making this crisis worse, and to load the burden onto the backs of people like Barbara who is under an eviction order,” said protester Jordi Garcia.

Little scenes of resistance are being played out up and down the country as Spain’s rattled banks claw back as much cash as they can to stave off bankruptcy, making many homeless in the process.