Jobless Spaniards protest as crisis outlook darkens

THOUSANDS of jobless Spaniards have marched through Madrid in the latest angry demonstrations against economic crisis cuts, as fears rose for the country's financial stability.

Young people thrown out of work by the recession converged on the capital, many of them having hiked hundreds of kilometres from around Spain, and walked through the city's central avenues, waving banners and whistling.

"Hands up, this is a robbery!" they yelled, their regular refrain over recent days of protests.

"Everyone get up and fight!"

It was the latest in a string of protests that have erupted since Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced 65 billion euros ($A77.03 billion) in fresh austerity measures on July 11, including cuts to pay and unemployment benefits.

"I am very disappointed and angry," said Alba Sanchez, 25, who had come by car from the northeastern region of Catalonia to join the demonstration.

"People cannot allow all these cuts by this government that hates us."

The crowd marched peacefully to the sound of drums and trumpets and stopped at the Puerta del Sol square, the symbolic hub of numerous social protests, where demonstrators sat down and held a popular assembly.

Protesters say the efforts to cut Spain's deficit target the poor unfairly and will depress the recession-hit economy further.

"They pee on us and tell us it's raining," read one yellow sign waved by the jobless protesters on Saturday.

"I can't tighten my belt and drop my trousers at the same time," read another.

Rajoy's measures raise sales tax (VAT) and cut benefits for the newly unemployed after six months from 70 per cent of basic salary to 50 per cent.

Previously, the reduction had been to 60 per cent.

The government cut its economic growth forecast for 2013 from 0.2 per cent growth to a contraction of 0.5 per cent.

Unemployment is running at more than 24 per cent.


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