May 25, 2013
Spain unions march peacefully against austerity
Thousands of union workers marched peacefully in Madrid on Tuesday to protest against austerity measures and a rushed constitutional reform to cap government spending, which they say threatened social programmes.
The workers and members of the youth Indignados movement gathered in Puerta del Sol square -- ground zero for anti-government protesters in Spain -- in the evening carrying banners reading "I don't want any change to the constitution."
Union leaders said 25,000 people took part but witnesses said the turnout was about half that.
The protest, organised by Spain's two main union federations, the CCOO and UGT, came a day before Spain's Senate is due to change the constitution to limit structural deficits in central and regional governments.
Youth unemployment tops 40 percent in Spain and one in five workers are jobless, the highest rate in the European Union.
Earlier this year, members of disaffected youth groups known as the Indignados -- or Indignant -- camped out for weeks in Puerta del Sol in protests against Spain's political system, but the movement lost some momentum over the summer.