Tens of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated in Madrid on a rainy Sunday against new austerity measures targeting spending on education and health care.
"Cuts in health care and education, that's the last straw for us, the working class," said Domingo Zamora, a 60-year-old civil servant. "Without that, what's left? We don't even have work."
"They're pushing us to the point of asphyxiation," said another protester, Pilar Logales, also 60.
The protesters carried banners reading "It's a Crime to Cut Health Care" and "People of Europe, Rise Up." One simply read "No."
The cash-strapped Spanish government on April 20 approved reforms to scrap free medicine for pensioners and charge students higher fees, aiming to save an extra 10 billion euros ($13 billion) a year.
Madrid has promised to shave its public deficit to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 8.5 percent last year.
Spain's jobless rate hit 24 percent in the first quarter of this year, its highest level since 1996.© ANP/AFP