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GALLERY: Thousands march across European cities against austerity cuts

Marches took place across Spain as well as in Paris, Athens, Lisbon and Brussels, with hundreds at a demo in Dublin.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE across Europe took to the streets in protest at austerity measures being introduced by their governments.

Marches were held in Dublin, where around 700 people turned out, as well as in Paris, Athens, Lisbon, Brussels and across Spain.

The Leap Day marches came a day ahead of two days of summits in Brussels at which EU leaders will discuss the impact of recent economic measures, and ways of stimulating the European economies.

In Dublin, demonstrators crowded Molesworth Street – symbolically capped by Leinster House at one end of the street, and the EU’s Irish offices at the other.

The match, organised by trade unions, was addressed by politicians including Éamon Ó Cuív – who by then had already resigned as deputy leader of Fianna Fáil.

GALLERY: Thousands march across European cities against austerity cuts
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  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Dublin

  • Austerity protests - Madrid

  • Austerity protests - Madrid

  • Austerity protests - Madrid

  • Austerity protests - Marseille

In Spain, videos showed protesters setting plastic garbage containers alight with flares, causing a blaze that destroyed at least one car. They also hurled rocks at the glass front door of a bank branch.

Some students made their way to the University of Barcelona and took refuge from riot police in a plaza inside the campus, denying that they started the violence.

Student Pau Bronsoms, 22, said police used truncheons to hit protesters and fired rubber bullets. ”We did not expect this degree of repression,” he said. “Nobody broke anything until they charged.”

A regional police official in Barcelona declined comment on tactics used to break up the demonstration, speaking on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

Additional reporting by AP

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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