45 Arrested After Austerity Protests In Spain

Mass demonstrations in Madrid and other cities in Spain led to dozens of arrests on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. In total, as many as 45 people were arrested across the European country amid allegations of corrupt government and backlash against the country’s latest austerity measures.

This is hardly the first time that a European country has had to deal with angry citizens when it comes to austerity. Since the world’s government teetered on the brink of collapse in 2008, several countries have been trying to find a way to stay off the cliff.

In September, riots broke out in Greece and Spain during similar austerity protests. Unlike those September protests, Reuters reports that these demonstrations were mostly peaceful.

The protests ended at the Spanish parliament building in Madrid and once over, most protestors dispersed and went home. After most went home, Spanish police report that there were several skirmishes.

CNN reports that during the skirmishes that saw a couple of dozen people arrested, around 40 people were injured, including two police officers.

Harsh austerity measures aren’t the only reason that the Spanish people are unhappy with their government. The protestors were also voicing their distrust of the government itself which has been hit with several charges of corruption over the last few months.

One poll that recently circulated among the populace showed that 96 percent of Spaniards believed that corruption was pervasive in their government.

Among the 45 arrested, nine were reported to be under the age of 18. Whether or not these children were actually part of the protests or simply taking advantage of the mood swirling around the city center is undetermined.

Labor unions and regular citizens all converged in the protests, showing a solidarity against their government. Most protestors wore specially colored shirts in order to show what sector they worked in.