45 people arrested after protests in Spain

Sunday 24 February 2013 16.16
Most protesters dispersed after the rally
Most protesters dispersed after the rally

Forty-five people have been arrested in Spain during disturbances following a demonstration yesterday by tens of thousands of people against spending cuts and allegations of government corruption.

The mostly peaceful march convened in central Madrid yesterday evening in front of parliament under the watch of riot police.

Police closed access to the legislature, Ritz Hotel and stock exchange.

However, while most protesters dispersed after the rally, police reported disturbances later in the night and early this morning around the city's Atocha train station.

Nine of those arrested were under 18, police said.

Up to 40 people were hurt, including 12 police, though none seriously, officials said today.

The march was just one of a number of demonstrations across the country to protest against deep austerity, the privatisation of public services and allegations of political corruption.

Protests in Spain have become commonplace as the conservative government passes measures aimed at shrinking one of the eurozone's highest budget deficits.

A corruption scandal involving the ruling People's Party and a separate investigation into the king's son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, has further undermined Spaniards' trust in the leaders.

One poll, before the latest accusations of high level slush funds came to light, showed 96% of Spanish adults thought corruption amongst politicians was pervasive.

The People's Party and Mr Urdangarin deny wrongdoing.