26 September 2012
Video: Clashes in Madrid as anti-austerity protesters storm Spanish Parliament
Sixty-four people were injured as 1,300 riot police charged the crowd to break up the demonstration – police fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with batons
SIX THOUSAND anti-austerity protesters surrounded the Spanish parliament on Tuesday night in an ‘Occupy Congress’ demonstration calling for an end to cutbacks and for fresh elections.
Protesters said the tough austerity measutres imposed by the ruling, right-wing Popular Party are proof that it misled the public when it gained power in November.
Demonstrators chanted “Rescue democracy” and “This is not a crisis, it’s a swindle” as they converged on the Spanish Parliament, completely surrounding it.
Sixty-four people were injured as 1,300 riot police charged the crowd to break up the demonstration. Police fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with batons.
Unemployment in Spain has hit 25% – youth unemployment is far higher.
Spain’s deficit reached €50.1billion in August and further tough austerity measures are feared as the Government unveils a draft budget on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Artur Mas, President of the economically powerful Catalonia region, called for a November general election.
Lionel Barber, editor of The Financial Times, told Sky News that what was happening on the streets of Madrid and elsewhere in Spain was a “political backlash”. He noted particularly the situation in Catalonia, saying it should be watched closely as the region was moving towards independence:
“One of our correspondents who was in Catalonia last week sent me a text saying he'd been in the Baltic states in 1991 just before the break-up of the Soviet Union and he said Catalonia was like that.”
Protesters say they will again try to occupy the parliament on Wednesday.
Video of clashes in Madrid (Credit: Russia Today)
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