Spaniards, Greeks march against austerity

The European Union approved a second bailout for Greece in the wee hours of Feb. 21, signing off on a $170 billion rescue package—a day after thousands of protesters took to the streets to oppose austerity in both Greece and Spain. As Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos flew out to Brussels to try to clinch the deal, 3,500 marched in Athens, with another 1,200 reported from Thessaloniki. In Athens, hundreds of police trailed the marches—held a week after Parliament approved the austerity measures as rioters torched dozens of buildings in the city center. A new clash was reported at the Parliament biulding, with stone-throwing youth met with tear-gas canisters. In Spain, there were protests in more than 50 towns and cities. The largest were in Madrid and Barcelona, which both drew hundreds of thousands of marchers. (LAT, Feb. 20; AFP, Feb. 19)

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  1. Police fire in air at Barcelona student protest
    As anti-austerity protests continue in Spain, on Feb. 28 the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police force, fired shots into the air with rubber bullets as they attempted to clear protesting students who barricaded themselves in the University of Barcelona campus. Vehicles were set ablaze and dumpsters overturned in running street battles. (Cuntrastamu!, Feb. 29)

  2. Occupy Madrid
    Tens of thousands of protesters took to Spain’s streets to mark the one-year anniversary of the indignados, or “angry ones” —the movement that inspired Occupy Wall Street. Since unemployed youth first occupied Madrid’s Puerta del Sol central square last year, much has changed in Spain. The Socialist government was defeated in elections late last year, and now ruling conservatives have imposed harsh austerity measures. Youth unemployment is over 50%. Thousands of indignados attempted to establish a new occupation camp in the Puerta del Sol, but were routed by police. (NPR, May 15; BBC News, May 13)