UK & World News
Spain And Portugal Hit By Austerity Protests
Tens of thousands of people have staged rallies in Spain and Portugal to protest against punishing austerity measures.
Demonstrators threw tomatoes and fireworks at the Portuguese headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Lisbon and two people were arrested.
In Madrid, buses transporting protesters blocked several major roads on Saturday before a march began in the Spanish capital.
The Spanish and Portuguese governments have both implemented austerity measures to prevent their countries from financial collapse.
Spain is stuck in a double-dip recession with unemployment close to 25%.
The conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced stinging cuts and raised taxes to reduce the deficit and reassure investors.
That situation could get worse in coming weeks.
At a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Cyprus on Friday, Spain revealed it will present a new set of economic reforms by the end of September - raising concerns it might ask for financial help from the ECB.
In Portugal, another package of recently announced government austerity measures could spark further angry protests.
One man was taken to hospital with burns after reportedly attempting to set himself on fire in the northern town of Aveiro.
Last week, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced an increase in workers' social security contributions from 11% to 18% of their monthly salary - equivalent to a month's wages.
Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said income taxes will go up next year and public employees will lose either their Christmas or holiday bonus.
Tax hikes and spending cuts imposed since last year's bailout have contributed to record unemployment in Portugal above 15% and pushed the economy into its worst recession since the 1970s.
what do you think?
.ITS NOT JOE AVERAGES FAULT, ITS EUROPE,S FAULT........AND GOVERMENTS...........
Good. Direct action is the only language these criminal, corrupt, capitalist politicians understand. Imagine if ALL the people of Europe rioted in one action - there isn't a police force, army or government who could stand against them. Reject austerity
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I am just waiting for the computers to take control. Slowly the world is collapsing. Consumerism is why we are in this mess. In some religions it says that when we all carry energy in our pockets (mobile phones) it will be the beginning of the end. Get ready for authoritarian governments and mass food and water shortages
U sound like 1 of the tinfoil on the head 2 stop the alien's listening in nutcases.Give yourself a shake man.
David Mcewan - your the one who needs to 'give yourself a shake' - for not recognising capitalism is the new form of slavery, the new feudalism, fascism by any other name. But who knows? Maybe you worship money yourself? Sad
Wait for the bailouts they keep insisting on the one Europe the one government the one currency the taxation the one banking .what they haven't realised yet is no one in Europe wants any of it .the more they throw money at it the worse it gets . Wake up and let it die
Glad to see the Spanish and Portuguese have the bottle to take action against there corrupt Governments all we do is moan hoping someone else dose the fight for justice.
Spain, Portugal, Greece etc just can't exist in the euro alongside industrial Germany, but the euro fascists in Brussels can't let anyone go, or they'll lose their fat salaries and pensions. As usual, it's us peons who suffer
Good on them. Let's do the same here and kick this weak government out and replace it with one led by ordinary people.