The online news portal of TV5
MADRID - Hundreds of public sector workers marched in Madrid Tuesday evening yelling and blowing whistles in the latest daily protests against pay cuts imposed in Spain's financial crisis.
"Hands up, this is a robbery!" yelled the crowd of some 1,500 protestors as it massed outside the budget ministry in central Madrid.
The latest string of protests erupted after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on July 11 announced new pay cuts and tax increases, aiming to save 65 billion euros ($80 billion) over three years in order to lower the public deficit.
Among the latest steps is a cut in the Christmas bonus paid to civil servants, equivalent to a seven-percent reduction in annual pay.
"They have already lowered and frozen our salary and this is the final blow," said one protestor at Tuesday's demonstration, Ines Cornide, 44, a worker in the justice sector.
Spain is suffering its second recession in four years, with an unemployment rate of more than 24 percent.
Rajoy's latest measures also included a rise in sales tax which is likely to hit ordinary consumers, and cuts to unemployment benefits.
"These measures they are taking will not stimulate consumption and will not create jobs," said Cornide.
Hundreds of public sector workers also took to the streets earlier on Tuesday, as on previous days, to protest during their half-hour mid-morning coffee break.
The protests, organized in part via online social networks such as Twitter, anticipated demonstrations formally called by labour unions for July 19, and have drawn firemen, police officers, nurses, teachers and others.