Thousands march in Spain

2012-10-07 13:59

Madrid - 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 privatisation 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% 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 October 30, my temporary contract will finish and it won't be extended.

"We have minimum cover on every floor at every hospital," she said. "This is affecting not just hospitals, also education and civil services, everything."

The government has pushed through nine straight months of tough austerity measures which have prompted Spain's 17 regional governments, some of which are heavily indebted, to slash spending in health care and education.

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-07 14:12

    May all those who think SA is going to the dogs please relocate to Spain! Funny enough they are protesting against privatisation, I guess nationalisation is the in thing

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-07 15:10

    In Europe, voters think the State is a cash cow. In Africa, the State thinks the voters are.

      valerie.adams.750 - 2012-10-07 15:26

      Good one Stephen

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