Arturo Rodriguez, Associated Press
MADRID — Tens of thousands of students, social groups and unemployed Spaniards rallied in more than 50 cities on Sunday to protest against government austerity measures and the role banks and political parties have played in the financial crisis.
The events were organized by two activist groups under the banner of "We aren't merchandise in the hands of politicians and bankers."
Protesters in Madrid marched from Cibeles square to city hall in Puerta del Sol, many wearing yellow T-shirts distributed by the Youth Without a Future group, which was founded in early April at the city's university and helped organize the rallies.
"We the unemployed, the badly paid, the subcontracted in precarious jobs, the youth of Spain, want change and a future with dignity," said Ines Bajo, 24, who is unemployed.
Other large marches took place in the cities of Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao and Zaragoza.
"I have several degrees, speak many languages and still get paid a miserable salary," said Cristina Corbera, 25, in Madrid, adding she had finally got a job two months ago after looking for work for more than a year.
She declined to say where she worked because of fear her employer might react badly to her comments, she said.
"For those who say that Spaniards are passive, here's evidence that things are starting to change," Luis Morago, 44, who is unemployed.
Spain is saddled with the eurozone's highest jobless rate of 21.3 percent with a record 4.9 million people unemployed and a sluggish economy that grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of the year.
The government forecasts growth of 1.3 percent this year, but the central bank and others say that prediction is optimistic.
- College Football: Utah moves back into top...
- 'No more baby parts': Reclusive suspect's...
- These touching Christmas ads will melt any...
- Official says gunman made 'no more baby...
- Bigotry? Hatred? Christians say they’re...
- Egypt says 90 percent chance of hidden rooms...
- Planned Parenthood under fire literally and...
- Elder Ballard visits refugee camps in Germany...
- Obama admin says states lack authority... 40
- College Football: Utah moves back into... 39
- Police: 3 killed, 9 wounded in attack... 32
- Elder Ballard visits refugee camps in... 25
- Official says gunman made 'no more baby... 23
- Planned Parenthood under fire literally... 14
- 'No more baby parts': Reclusive... 14
- Local free community college plans may... 7