Protesters in Madrid today pushed to break down barriers keeping them from Parliament, who implemented additional austerity measures and tax hikes, and were met with great resistance from police forces as rubber bullets were fired into the crowd of more than 6,000.
More than 20 people have been arrested and over two dozen injured, Spanish media reported. At least 1,000 riot police tried to keep rioters from parliament, which led to protesters flooding the streets near Plaza de Neptuno square and stopping nearby traffic in the height of rush hour, NPR reports.
The “Occupy Congress” movement was fully ignited as Spaniards await more austerity measures like those seen in Greece.
Unemployment in the nation is near 25 percent, and the government is trying to condense its overwhelming budget deficit.
“Occupy Congress” demonstrators, known as Indignants, are protesting against what they are calling the kidnapping of democracy, BBCreports.
Many protesters are calling for fresh elections, implying the ruling Popular Party and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had misguided voters during elections last November when the party won in a landslide.
Although Rajoy has not stated he would cut any pensions, many Spaniards fear the retirement age will be raised from the current 65 up to as much as 70.
Spain’s former socialist government was ousted when Rajoy took office. Now in its second recession in only three years, Spain is suffering. The government is working to convince euro investors and partners it will reduce its deficit from 6.3 percent of its gross domestic product in 2012 to 4.5 percent in 2013.
A stress test from the Spanish banks hit hardest from the recessions will be released on Friday. Early estimates imagine at least 60 billion euros of the country’s 100 billion year loan will be needed to bail the banks out as the country lies in unrest.