- Title: SPAIN: Hundreds rally in Madrid against the privatisation of public services
- Date: 8th October 2012
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (OCTOBER 6, 2012) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS HOLDING LARGE BANNER SUPPORTING PUBLIC SERVICES MARCHING ON STREET PLACARD READING: "THEY ROBBED WHAT BELONGS TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR ACCOMPLICES" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER PROTESTER SPEAKING THROUGH MEGAPHONE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2012 13:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAC6WE89M5OK1OIGVPT4D3UVTE
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: At least 200 protesters took to the streets of the Spanish capital on Saturday (October 6) to protest against the privatisation of public services and spending cuts for the 2013 budget unveiled last month by the ruling People's Party.
Holding placards against austerity and blowing horns, demonstrators rallied from Neptuno fountain to Sevilla, next to the education ministry.
Maria who works as a teacher said people had to take to the streets to show their discontent with the policies.
"They want to bring an end to public education. It is important to take to the streets and say that we are against it. If we don't take to the streets, they will think, like Mister Rajoy says, that we support his policies and it is not like that. We are completely against it. So it is necessary to protest," she said.
Ministry budgets were slashed by 8.9 percent for next year and public sector wages frozen for a third year as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy battled to trim one of the euro zone's biggest deficits.
In April, Spain's government laid out health and education reforms aimed at slicing 10 billion euros a year off public spending.
Critics said the government is spending billions of euros to rescue banks that got into trouble after the property market crashed, while it cut spending on schools and hospitals.
Meanwhile, protester Fernando Perez said it was important to defend public services.
"So everyone can use the public services. So the rich and the poor can have education and health care," he said.
Labour unions said the reform will put 100,000 substitute teachers out of work.
The demonstrators peacefully marched for more than one hour shouting slogans against politicians and the economic crisis.
Last month several protests ended with clashes as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets with the slogan "Surround Parliament" to protest against government cuts.
Beset by anti-austerity protests and threats of secession by the wealthy northwestern region of Catalonia, Rajoy is resisting market and diplomatic pressure to apply for a rescue, partly out of concern for national sovereignty but also because European Union (EU) paymaster Germany insists Spain does not need help.
The central government sees budget savings of 13 billion euros in 2013, with spending down 7.3 percent -- not including social security and interest payments -- and income rising four percent thanks to a 15 percent leap in value-added tax take.
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