Spain -Protests and violent clashes after government announces salary cuts and VAT increase -July 19, 2012

Over 80 demonstrations in various cities were called by unions as tensions between police and protesters rise. Virtually all public sector unions had called for new demonstrations as the government announced a further 65 billion cuts to prepare for a European stimulus package, whilst also announcing increases in VAT rates. Among the cuts is the Christmas bonus, a real pay cut of up to 7% for some workers. When various demonstrations came together at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and news arrived that the riot police had been orderd to disperse the demonstration, protesters barricaded surrounding streets by setting on fire plastic bins. Violent clashes followed with the police shooting rubber bullets and protesters throwing rocks and bottles; at least six protesters were injured.

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