Author Topic: Madrid protesters demanding Rajoy's resignation clash with police  (Read 1693 times)

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Offline mayya

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Madrid protesters demanding Rajoy's resignation clash with police

Fury over alleged corruption amid austerity crisis drives thousands onto streets in Spanish capital and Barcelona

    Associated Press in Madrid, Friday 19 July 2013 06.43 BST   

Thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of the the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, demonstrated on Thursday night in Madrid.

What started as a peaceful event turned violent towards midnight after riot police clashed with some protesters, resulting in at least several people being arrested and injured.

The protesters jammed downtown streets outside the Madrid headquarters of the ruling Popular party, insisting Rajoy should leave office because of allegations he received payoffs from a slush fund before his party won elections in 2011. Thousands more demonstrated in Barcelona.

Shortly before midnight, groups of protesters in Madrid clashed with police wielding batons. An Associated Press photographer saw one protester with his face bloodied, a police officer hurt by a flying projectile and at least two protesters arrested by authorities.

Earlier in the week opposition leaders called for Rajoy to explain himself before parliament or face a censure vote.

On Monday Rajoy brushed off demands he should resign after text messages emerged that seemed to show him comforting a former political party treasurer under investigation over a slush fund and secret Swiss bank accounts. The treasurer has claimed Rajoy took under-the-counter payments, accusations Rajoy denies.

The spectacle of alleged greed and corruption has enraged Spaniards hurting from austerity and high unemployment.