Tens of thousands of Spaniards joined protests against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey's government this weekend (22nd July) in protest over its handling of an economic crisis that has plunged 25 per cent of the country into unemployment.
Hundreds of unemployed young Spaniards had walked hundreds of miles to meet in Madrid to show their rejection of the politics of austerity.
They journeyed on foot from the southern region of Andalucia, which has one of the worst unemployment rates in Spain, from northern Catalonia and other areas in an attempt to highlight the plight of the unemployed in recession-hit Spain.
Demonstrations have become almost constant across Spain since the government announced €65 billion (£50.6bn) in new spending cuts two weeks ago.
After demonstrating outside the Ministry for Employment earlier in the day, protesters banging drums, blowing vuvuzelas and chanting "unemployed, wake up" marched towards Puerta del Sol, the central square that has seen hundreds of thousands demonstrate against government austerity.
They were joined by members of the Los "Indignados" - 15-M Movement, which has organised sit-ins at the square for more than a year.
Many bore banners railing against the markets squeezing Spain's finances, with slogans such as "Debt is modern-day slavery" or "Unemployed against the risk premium."
The government is trying to avert a full-scale bailout after going cap in hand to Eurozone leaders to borrow up to €100bn (£77.8bn) to throw at its failing banks.
But even that borrowing failed to appease the vulture markets.
The interest rate demanded by speculators rose at the weekend to a euro-era record of 7.2 per cent in reaction to the country's continued recession and the debts of its regions.
Far from being hailed as a life-saver, the €65bn of spending cuts and tax rises pushed through by the Rajoy administration to meet deficit targets set by Brussels are widely blamed in Spain for pushing the economy back into recession for yet another year.
One of the government's most controversial cuts will affect unemployment benefits, which are set to be reduced for those who have just become unemployed. Hundreds of thousands of angry Spaniards protested in 80 cities across Spain on (Thursday 19th July) against the government's latest austerity measures.
Ccoo Andalucia CCOO Cádiz CCOO Joves Ccoo Pv EAPN - European Anti Poverty Network The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed