Parliament braced for protesters in Madrid


http://www.euronews.com/ Hundreds of indignados, calling themselves the 25s group marched on Parliament in Madrid angry at how the government is managing the country’s faltering finances.

Riot police were prepared for the marchers as an estimated force of around a thousand ringed the parliament with barriers to prevent access from different angles. Identity cards for those needing to pass through the barriers were checked rigorously.

There were no plans, the demonstrators said to storm the chamber but just to walk round the building. There has been, they said a kidnapping of Spain’s popular sovereignty by the Troika and the markets.

“We only want to liberate parliament because we are in a democracy where they – the political class – in conjunction with the economic powers, bankers, investors funds- have hijacked our democracy,” said one protester.

The demo comes days before the announcement of another round of cuts and there remain fears Spain may be forced to apply for a bailout.

Thursday’s budget will be Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s second since he came to power in December.

Analysts believe the conservative government is looking at cuts in areas like inflation-linked pensions and, “green taxes” on emissions.

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Portugal: 39th anniversary of revolution turns to austerity protest


http://www.euronews.com/ The celebrations for the 1974 “Carnation Revolution” in Portugal have taken on a poignant tone this year.

People from all walks of life who gathered for the celebrations made comparisons with the country’s liberation from a fascist dictatorship and the harsh situation many of them are facing today.

One of those was José Mendes the head of police union who said: “It makes perfect sense that we are present because we also represent the people. We are here to guarantee that the constitution is fulfilled.”

Retired Colonel, Vasco Lourenco, who was one of the leaders of the 1974 coup said this is not what he fought for:

“I see the country in a bad situation so this 25th of April, as well as evoking liberation from fascism, must also be seen as a fight against the situation we are living today.”

Portugal is projected to suffer a third straight year of recession in 2013.

As the jobless rate jumps to 17.5 percent, pay and pension cuts along with tax hikes have already hit many people hard.

But in order to meet their bailout conditions the government still needs to make a further 4 billion euros in savings.