Thousands march to protest austerity cuts in Spain
MADRID (AP) - Several thousand people marched in downtown Madrid on Saturday to protest austerity measures they say will lead to cuts in cherished national health care and the privatization of public services.
Marching under banners reading "Neither cuts nor privatisations," many protesters were civil servants hit with a wage freeze next year.
Spain is experiencing its second recession in three years, is burdened with an unemployment rate of nearly 25 per cent and social unrest is on the rise. The number of people registered unemployed rose to 4.71 million in September as the tourism season ended and businesses let workers go.
"I work in a hospital, but I'm about to end up unemployed," 58-year-old nurse Victoria Gutierrez said. "On Oct 30, my temporary contract will finish and it won't be extended.