Raw: Spain Austerity Protests Draws Thousands

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News,World

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in 60 cities across Spain on Sunday to protest against unemployment and the government's handling of the economy. (March 10)

SHOTLIST:

AP Television -- AP Clients Only

Madrid - March 10

1. Wide of Neptuno Square full of people during demonstration holding banner reading (Spanish) "Against unemployment: 6 million reasons for a social and participatory democracy"

2. Mid of people at head of demonstration

3. Close up of union flags

4. Wide of demonstrators in Neptuno Square

5. Wide of demonstrators in Cibeles Square

6. Mid of people with banner

7. Wide of banner with slogan reading (Spanish) "No more cuts"

8. Wide of demonstration

9. Various of people with union banners and flags

STORYLINE:

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in 60 cities across Spain on Sunday to protest against unemployment and the government's handling of the economy.

A large rally took place in the capital Madrid, where protesters called on the government to halt its austerity programme and do more to tackle unemployment.

The demonstrations were organised by 150 organisations including trade unions representing the construction, car and television industries as well as police and health services.

The organisations have banded together under under the name "Social Summit" to protest against government austerity measures.

The protesters were also angry about allegations that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and others benefited from years of slush fund handouts.

A spokesman for the General Workers Union (UGT) said it was clear that most people rejected the government's austerity policies, which he said were pushing many toward poverty and away from democracy.

Spain's unemployment rate is at a staggering 26 percent and the economy is immersed in its second recession in three years, with many young graduates and qualified professionals emigrating to find jobs elsewhere.

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