EL PAIS, LA VANGUARDIA, EL MUNDO (Spain)
MADRID – Protesters called for a new round of demonstrations Wednesday after a day of clashes with riot police on the streets of Madrid. The latest toll from the violence is 35 people arrested and 64 wounded, according to La Vanguardia.
The protests come as the government prepares to unveil further austerity measures on Thursday. Protesters accused the politicians of “hijacking democracy,” and asked for the resignation of the government and the king, reports El Mundo, as well as an amendment to the constitution.
More than 1,400 riot troops were deployed as about 6,000 people marched toward the parliament, said El Pais. Among the protesters were unemployed people, students, housewives and pensioners from all around Spain.
Although the organizers had called for a peaceful demonstration, tensions between protesters and police flared when a group of protesters tried to tear down barricades, and threw stones and bottles at the baton-wielding riot police, who charged the crowds and fired rubber bullets.
The central government representative for the Madrid region, Cristina Cifuentes, has defended the police’s actions, saying she supported them “completely,” and that they had “demonstrated professionalism in very difficult circumstances,” writes El Mundo. She said radical groups were to blame for the violence and that 265 kilos of stones were collected by police, as well as sticks and slingshots.
The Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz condemned the use of “extreme violence” by some protesters and said the police had “done their duty” and acted “magnificently,” says La Vanguardia.