A demonstrator protests against austerity measures and financial crisis which affect the country as he’s surrounded by flags, in Pamplona, northern Spain on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Around the all country, thousands of citizens protested against to Spanish Government’s economic policy. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
MADRID (AP) — Trade unions and anti-austerity groups angry at the effects of the financial crisis have held protest marches in 55 Spanish cities, calling on the government to re-think its policy of cutbacks in public services, education and health care.
Thousands marched to Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square — many wearing white medical scrubs — carrying banners reading “Health care is not for sale.”
Saturday’s peaceful protests coincided with anti-fascist gatherings, including one outside El Valle de los Caidos, a giant mausoleum north of Madrid where dictator Gen. Francisco Franco is buried.
Many protesters carried tri-color republican flags in commemoration of the democratically-elected government that Franco overthrew with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in an internecine 1936-1939 civil war.