Thousands march in Spain to protest austerity cuts
Protesters hold a banner reading "Public healthcare for everyone" and "General strike" as they march against austerity measures announced by the Spanish government and to defend the public healthcare system, in Madrid, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. / AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
MADRID Several thousand people are marching in downtown Madrid to protest austerity measures they say will lead to cuts in cherished national health care and the privatization of public services.
Marching under banners reading "Neither cuts nor privatizations," many protesters were civil servants hit with a wage freeze next year.
Spain is experiencing its second recession in three years, is burdened with an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent and social unrest is on the rise.
The number of people registered unemployed rose to 4.71 million in September as the tourism season ended and businesses let workers go.
The government has pushed through nine straight months of tough austerity measures which have prompted Spain's 17 regional governments, some of which are heavily indebted, to slash spending in health care and education.
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Iran hangs alleged U.S., Israeli spies
- Photos of the Week 21 Photos
- North Korea fires short-range missiles for second day
- Two imprisoned over killing Malcolm X's grandson
- Afghanistan to ask India for military aid
- Assad: Syria transition talks are internal matter
- Russia strikes back after expelling alleged U.S. spy
- Plane catches fire on Moscow runway Play Video