Spaniards mark movement anniv.

1000s of Spaniards mark indignants movement anniv.

Thousands of Spaniards have demonstrated nationwide to mark the second anniversary of the “indignants” movement formed to protest against economic inequality and governmentâ„¢s austerity cuts.

Known locally as the indignados, the demonstrators took to the streets of Madrid, Barcelona and around 30 other Spanish cities on Sunday to show their anger at the government’s austerity measures and high unemployment, AFP reported.

The indignados, the mostly youths, began occupying key Spanish squares on May 15, 2011, to protest the debt-plagued eurozone stateâ„¢s dire economic situation and demand fundamental change in the country’s political establishment. They have since been dubbed the 15-M movement.

In Madrid, the protesters, holding signs that read “The fight continues”, “Together, it’s possible” and “They call it a democracy but it’s not”, convened at the Puerta del Sol central square, the square that was occupied for weeks by a tent encampment in 2011.

Public protests against the governmentâ„¢s harsh austerity measures, which include tax hikes and pay cuts for public sector workers, have grown in the country.

The Spanish government has sharply been criticized over the austerity measures that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government has said that the imposition of the austerity measures is necessary for the country to meet its tough deficit targets.

The government hopes to save 150 billion euros ($195 billion) by 2014 through the cuts in a bid to slash the public deficit.

In April, the National Statistics Institute announced that Spain’s jobless rate shot up to a record 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Some 6.2 million people of Spain’s 45 million population are now jobless.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs.

MN/HN

This article originally appeared on : Press TV