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Spanish Workers, Students Mass in General Strike


With near-empty railway stations, shut factories, mass marches and occasional outbreaks of violence during a general strike on Thursday, Spaniards showed the first signs of rebellion against the reformist, austerity-preaching conservative government they voted in four months ago.

Police and pickets clashed in a handful of places, but it was a largely peaceful general strike in a country whose sinking economy, with 23% unemployment, has become the focus of worry about the future of the whole eurozone area.

Thousands of police officers remained on duty around the country on Thursday night as tens of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators flooded into city centres for protest marches against labour reform and austerity measures introduced by prime minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative People's party [PP].

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