Madrid, March 23 (RHC)-- Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of the Spanish capital, Madrid, to protest against the government’s harsh austerity measures that have led to high unemployment rates in the cash-strapped country.
According to the organizers, nearly 20,000 protesters took part in the Saturday event, dubbed “The Marches for Dignity 22-M,” in south central Madrid’s Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square), and Paseo de Recoletos Boulevard. The protesters were gathered by some 300 social action groups and trade unions for the massive anti-austerity rally.
They chanted slogans demanding “bread, jobs, housing and dignity” from the government. The demonstrators also called for a general strike later in October.
Spain has been struggling to deal with its worst economic crisis since World War II. One of the European countries that received bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, Spain has had to enforce unpopular austerity measures in return for the loans.
Spaniards have staged numerous protests against the spending cuts, arguing that austerity measures have resulted in more job losses in recent years. According to reports in the fourth quarter of 2014, Spain’s unemployment rate stands at 23.7 percent.