March 22 - Riot police descend on Madrid square after tens of thousands from all over Spain converged on the capital Madrid to protest economic austerity measures they say hurt the poor. Mana Rabiee reports.
Tens of thousands from all over Spain converged on the capital Madrid on Saturday. Protesters called it a "Dignity March". They demanded an end to tough austerity measures imposed by the European Union. Economic reforms that have put the country's worst off into even deeper poverty. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REGIONAL LAWMAKER AND MAYOR OF TOWN OF MARINALEDA IN REGION OF ANDALUSIA, JUAN MANUEL SANCHEZ GORDILLO, SAYING: "Forty percent of people have reached the poverty line. There are more than one million people that don't have the minimum conditions to live. That's why we are here." Some came to protest the policies of Minister Mariano Rajoy. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEMONSTRATOR FROM REGION OF ASTURIAS, IKER BODEGAS, SAYING: "He is a scoundrel. I am also protesting against all those corrupt who are in power and all those disgusting unions who sell themselves for money. I want to protest against all those ones." By nightfall, the government had had enough. Riot police were brought into a main square to disperse the protesters. Not everyone went away. One in four Spaniards is unemployed. They're calling for jobs, affordable housing and urging the government not to pay its international debts.