Monday Jun 04, 201206:13 PM GMT
Riot police, Spanish miners clash in anti-austerity protest
Spanish miners burn tires and trees to cut a road during a miner
Spanish miners burn tires and trees to cut a road during a miner's demonstration in Vega del Rey, near Oviedo, in northern Spain on June 4, 2012.
Mon Jun 4, 2012 6:12PM
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Coal miners on strike to oppose cuts in their sector have set up burning barricades and launched home-made rockets at riot police during a protest in northern Spain.

Some 8,000 mineworkers from over 40 coal mines in northern Spain are staging a nationwide strike against subsidy reductions that have been sharply slashed by 64 percent.

The strike in Vega del Rey turned violent on Monday after furious miners fired homemade rockets towards riot police and set tires ablaze.

Riot police retaliated with tear gas grenades and baton charges as they desperately tried to bring the situation under control.

Spanish coal miners started their strikes in the last week of May. Negotiations between labor unions and the government to reach an agreement have been futile.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in power since December, has implemented more than 30 billion euros of austerity cuts as well as tax increases to reduce the country's deficit and to avoid seeking a financial bailout like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.


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