Alvaro Barrientos, Associated Press
MADRID — Tens of thousands of people marched in 56 Spanish cities Sunday to protest punishing austerity cuts they say will only increase unemployment and job insecurity in a country experiencing its second recession in three years and record high unemployment.
Around 20,000 people marched in Madrid behind a banner that said, "They want to ruin the country. We have to stop them." The rally in Spain's capital was supported by 150 organizations.
Protesters chanted slogans against cuts and waved placards reading "youth without jobs, society with no future." That is a reference to the youth unemployment rate, which surpasses 50 percent. Spain's overall jobless rate is nearly 25 percent and social unrest is on the rise.
"They are abusing the lower social classes," 54-year-old teacher Luis Diaz said. "By backing banks, they are torturing the working class and badly affecting public education, health care and pensions when what they should be doing is exactly the opposite."
Trade union leaders said the marches warned the government that tempers were rising and a general strike was brewing.
Workers Commissions union spokesman Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said a likely date for the strike could be as early as Nov. 14.
The government has implemented tough austerity measures over its nine months in office.
- Farm owners fined for refusing to host a...
- Another American hostage at risk by Islamic...
- Twitter tries to block images of James Foley...
- Facebook makes the most obvious move ever...
- Police, protesters collide again in Ferguson
- Obama vows justice for killers of U.S....
- Colleges add luxury touches to new football...
- Allow student loan bankruptcies, but hold...
- Farm owners fined for refusing to host... 51
- 'Don't know' if Missouri teen shot with... 25
- Police, protesters collide again in... 25
- Texas Gov. Perry says indictment is... 22
- Obama heading back to DC in rare... 21
- Texas Gov. Perry assembles high-powered... 21
- Allow student loan bankruptcies,... 15
- Emerging solar plants scorch birds in... 14