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European Awakening: Spanish workers hold biggest-ever rallies

Spanish workers have held their biggest-ever protest rallies across the country to condemn pay cuts and tax hikes aimed at tackling the eurozone member’s financial crisis.

“Hands up, this is a robbery!” protesters shouted in Madrid’s city center on Thursday evening, AFP reported.

Spain’s two main labor unions, UGT and CCOO, had called for more than 80 demonstrations across the country after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy introduced further austerity measures last week in a bid to save EUR 65 billion and cut the public deficit.

As a part of its belt-tightening measures, the Spanish government has decreased unemployment benefits and raised sales tax from 18 to 21 percent.

Spain is to become the fourth eurozone country to receive bailout funds from the European Union in return for imposing the deeply-unpopular austerity measures. The country is mired in its second recession in three years.

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