Thousands take to the streets in the Spanish capital Madrid to demand an end to austerity measures. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands marched through central Madrid on Sunday (December 18) to protest against austerity policies. Spain's two main unions, CCOO and UGT, called for the first big protest since the new government was named on November. Thousands attended the protest, waving red labour union flags as they marched, chanting slogans demanding the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reverse austerity laws affecting social services. Rajoy adopted austerity-focused economic policies during his first term between 2011 and 2015, when Spain emerged from a deep recession. Though employment is growing at 3 percent annually, the IMF identified Spain's long-term and youth unemployment rates - second highest in the EU behind Greece - and large proportion of temporary contracts as weaknesses. In a preliminary annual review of Spain's economy, it said Spain's "immediate attention" should be on gradually trimming the public deficit in order to cut debt after several years in which deficit targets have overshot those set by Brussels. Spain is behind on its budget plans for 2017 after a 10-month delay to form a government following two inconclusive elections.