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Thousands of Spaniards hold anti-austerity demos

Press TV

Thousands of Spaniards have staged rallies across the country to express resentment against austerity measures, recession and the soaring rate of unemployment in the country.

The protests took place on Sunday in 29 cities including the capital Madrid, the country’s second-largest city, Barcelona, and the Atlantic port of Vigo in the northwest.

The protesters — carrying banners, reading, “Austerity Destroys and Kills” and “Spending Cuts Are Robbery” — said they were opposed to the harsh austerity measures imposed by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

“We hope the government realizes that you can’t reverse the situation with cuts, cuts and more cuts. It is time to change course,” said a protester during the rally in Madrid.

The Sunday demonstrations were organized by Spain’s largest unions including the Workers’ Trade Unionist Federation, the Workers’ Commissions and the General Union of Workers.

Spain’s unemployment rate stands at 27 percent and is the second highest in the European Union after Greece.

Among the youth, the number is even worse with a staggering 56.4 percent of young Spaniards being unemployed.

Analysts say even if the country comes out of recession next year, job creation could lag until much later.

On May 3, credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, said it predicted Spain’s unemployment rate to peak at 28.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as government measures such as wage-setting reforms take effect and a contraction in industrial output reaches its limit.

Deteriorating economic situation in Europe has created growing discontent among the European public, with many nations across the continent grappling with teetering economies.

The European financial crisis began in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

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