SOCIAL UNREST

Catalans protest austerity cuts at large Barcelona rally

Organizers claim that 200,000 people took to streets on second day of nationwide demonstrations

Barcelona -
A protestor holds aloft a "no cuts" sign at Sunday's demonstrations in Barcelona.
A protestor holds aloft a "no cuts" sign at Sunday's demonstrations in Barcelona.JOSEP LAGO (AFP)

Thousands of citizens gathered in downtown Barcelona on Sunday to protest the central government's proposed budget cuts, which they called "anti-social."

Organizers said that about 200,000 people participated, but city police put the number at just 12,000.

Members of the ECOM association, an organization that groups the less-abled, led the march, which began at noon on Paseo de Gràcia and continued for about two hours until it reached Correos de Via Laeitana.

Officials from different leftist parties who took part in the march publicly asked why the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) was not present. The ERC is the parliamentary partner of the ruling Catalan CiU nationalist bloc in the region. "Every leftist party should be here protesting these social cuts," said Jaume Collboni of the Catalan Socialist Party.

It was the second day that Spaniards had gathered to rally against austerity measures.

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