Public sector employees in the Alcalá street in the center of Madrid on Wednesday. (Twitter: @megabe2)
A. Ortiz 07/18/2012 (06:00 AM CET)
Hundreds of public sector employees protested in the streets of Madrid on Wednesday against the government’s decision to remove some of their benefits, including a regular Christmas bonus.
The protests was one in a number of spontaneous street protests during the last week, since Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a new round of austerity measures, including the major tax increases for decades and removal of benefits for public sector employees.
Rajoy defended the measures in the Congress of Deputies on Wednesday, saying “all the measures are necessary and absolutely indispensible.”
Budget Minister Cristóbal Montoro went even further, saying that there is a risk that salaries of public sector employees will also have to be cut if the state revenues don’t increase.
Spontaneous protests in Madrid
At 12 o’clock on Wednesday, various groups of public sector employees gathered outside the ministries where they work, including the Ministry of Education, the regional Ministry for Education and Culture, the Cervantes Institute, the Bank of Spain and the City Hall of Madrid.
During the protest, they cut the traffic lanes of some of the major avenues in the capital, raising their hands in the air and many holding placards saying “No” to the government’s reforms, which were approved by the government on Friday.
Employees from the Ministry of Justice protested outside the headquarters of the governing Popular party in the center of Madrid.
This article was translated and edited by Stina Lunden.
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