UK & World News
Thousands Rage Against Cutbacks In Spain
Thousands of protesters have marched on Madrid's parliament building as anger over austerity measures and tax hikes increases in Spain.
More than 1,000 riot police blocked off access to the building in the centre of the capital.
Officers used batons to push back some protesters at the front of the march and fired rubber bullets as they charged crowds in central Madrid, according to reports.
The demonstration, with an "Occupy Congress" slogan, drew protesters weary of nine months of painful cutbacks imposed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Spain is struggling with its second recession in three years, with unemployment near 25%.
Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, told Sky's Jeff Randall: "What we're seeing now dramatically in the streets of Madrid is a (political) backlash.
"The other place to watch tonight is Barcelona, Catalonia, because Catalonia is moving towards if not independence, certainly a greater degree of autonomy.
"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."
The country has introduced austerity measures and economic reforms as it attempts to convince its euro partners and investors it is serious about reducing its deficit to 6.3% of GDP this year.
The deficit reached ?50.1bn - equivalent to 4.77% of GDP - in August, the government revealed on Tuesday.
Secretary of state for the budget Marta Fernandez Curras said the deficit "is under control".
Spain has been under pressure from investors to apply for European Central Bank assistance to keep its borrowing costs down.
The government is expected to present a new batch of reforms on Thursday as it unveils a draft budget for 2013.