Hundreds of Spanish police officers have taken to the streets to protest against harsh austerity measures imposed by the government.
Protesters held the Saturday demonstration outside the Interior Ministry in the capital Madrid to express their discontent with the budget cuts and removal of benefits.
“We came to express our anger at the way the government treats us, not only because they have removed Christmas bonuses, but also because they are eliminating our rights,” said Fran Estacio, a 33-year-old officer from Spain’s eastern city of Valencia.
Protesters were carrying banners that read, “Police officers can no longer take it.”
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s administration has implemented tough austerity measures during its nine months in office in a bid to tackle a debt repayment crunch and a bailout threat.
Public protests have grown in the country over speculation that the government will seek a Greek-style European bailout to keep its borrowing costs in check.
On October 23, hundreds of university students staged an anti-austerity demonstration in Madrid to protest against education cuts.
The Spanish government has submitted the 2013 draft budget, which will slash the overall spending by 40 billion euros (USD 51.7 billion), freeze the salaries of public workers and reduce spending for unemployment benefits.
Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs.