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Thousands march in Madrid against attacks on labour rights

THOUSANDS of Spaniards marched against government cuts and attacks on workers’ rights in Madrid yesterday.

The two biggest trade unions, UGT and CCOO, jointly organised the march, which called for “people and their rights first.”

UGT leader Jose Maria Alvarez said: “We won’t allow the government to maintain the cuts of recent years.”

EU-imposed spending cuts have seen public services in Spain hit hard, and while unemployment has fallen slightly from a high of over 27 per cent, more than one in five people of working age are still jobless.

CCOO general secretary Fernandez Toxo said it was a “key moment” for unions to go on the offensive rather than merely seek to limit the cuts.

“Now is when the policies which will mark the budget for next year are being decided,” he said.

Yesterday’s march was backed by the United Left, Podemos and Socialist parties.

But Labour Minister Fatima Banez of the minority People’s Party government said unions should agree any proposals with employers before she would be prepared to consider their suggestions.

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