Clashes erupt in European anti-austerity protests
MADRID (AFP) - Riot police and anti-austerity protesters clashed in Spain and Italy on Wednesday as anger boiled over on a Europe-wide day of strikes and mass demonstrations.
General strikes in Spain and Portugal paralysed swathes of industry and hit road, rail and air transport, as people vented their frustration at state cutbacks.
Seething workers staged industrial walkouts in Italy, the euro zone's number three economy, and in Greece, fighting to avert default even after enacting an austerity squeeze of 13.5 billion euros (S$21 billion).
Against a background of peaceful industrial action and protests across Europe, however, police charged with batons in Spain and running street battles erupted in Italy.