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39 injured in Spain austerity demo

Fifteen people were arrested and 39 people injured overnight in central Madrid, police said, after tens of thousands of people took part in a protest against the government's latest austerity package.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse groups of protesters in streets in and around the Spanish parliament building.

The protesters set fire to rubbish bins and threw cans and other objects at police.

A spokeswoman said that 10 police officers were among the injured.

The demonstration in the capital was one of 80 held in cities across Spain to protest against the austerity measures the conservative government says are necessary if Spain wants to avoid a bailout like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Finance ministers from the 17 euro countries are expected to approve conditions for a bailout loan for Spanish banks.

The document the ministers will consider calls for strict monitoring of Spain's banks that receive aid.

It also requires the Spanish government to present plans to reduce its budget deficit to under 3% of the country's gross domestic product by 2014.

The full amount of money needed to shore up Spain's banks is unlikely to be known until September, after individual banks have been examined.

The finance ministers have agreed to lend up to 100 billion euro (£78 billion), and the agreement to be considered calls for an initial disbursement of 30 billion euro (£23 billion) this month.


From Belfast Telegraph