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Firefighters vs police in Spain austerity protest

Riot police charged at firefighters during the protest, which took place in front of the Catalunya Parliament in Barcelona.
May 31st 2013, 8:26 AM 13,715 70

FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE faced off during a demonstration in Spain on Wednesday, with these photos showing the scale of the unrest.

In this photo, firefighters burn a mock coffin bearing the words “RIP Public Services”, during the protest against austerity measures.

The protestors had gathered in front of the Catalunya Parliament in Barcelona to mark their feelings about the pressures on public services in the country.

That same day, the European Union gave France, Spain and four other member states more time to bring their budget deficits under control to support their economies.

A smoke bomb was set off during the rally against economy cuts, as the firefighters and police – who normally would work closely together – came face-to-face during the intense protest.

With Spain’s unemployment rate at a record 27.16 per cent, the country is experiencing the tough grip of austerity and protests are a way for the citizens to express their frustration and try to get a message to their government.

Earlier this month, thousands protested over education cuts in the country, while in 2012 there were mass protests over spending and budget cuts.

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In July 2012, unions called more than 80 demonstrations around the country during one wave of protests after the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced measures to save €65 billion.

In December 2012, further protests took place after the government passed €39 billion worth of spending cuts. In some areas, daily rallies had been held by people against seeing their pay and benefits cut while taxes were raised.

Conservative Prime Minister Rajoy said last December that 2013 would be “a difficult year but it will be the year when our economy stabilises”.

All photos: AP Photo/Paco Serinelli

Read: Spain’s unemployment rate shoots to record 27.16%>

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Aoife Barry

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