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Austerity Spain: Protesting workers hit 54 cities with marches against Madrid's brutal cuts

Countless thousands from trade unions and health and education groups hit the streets to voice fury at spiraling spending power

Tens of thousands of people marched in dozens of Spanish cities on Thursday against the government’s brutal austerity measures.

Rallies were staged in Madrid and 53 other cities by more than 100 organisations, including Spain’s two largest trade unions, the CCOO and UGT, as well as health and education groups.

Thousands of people waving red-and-white union flags marched through Madrid’s streets behind a large banner that read: “The austerity policies must end.”

Retired civil servant Maria Cruz Otero said she was protesting because the cuts were affecting those worst off in Spanish society.

“With the so-called austerity it is the same people who are being left with nothing, those who already have little,” she said.

Years of tax rises, combined with public-sector pay cuts and freezes have caused a “brutal loss in purchasing power” for many people, she added.

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