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Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:25AM
Spanish coal miners protesting in Leon on June 12, 2012.

Spanish coal miners protesting in Leon on June 12, 2012.

Spanish police forces clash with coal miners on strike against tough austerity measures imposed by the government, leaving at least seven injured. The clashes took place in the northern region of Asturias. The miners reportedly used hand-made grenades. Union representatives say the miners have resorted to violence because of the brutal treatment they received from security forces. They are demanding the government to cancel its cuts to the mining industry. The clashes are the second instance of violence between the miners and police this week. Sit-ins and road blockades continue as some 8,000 miners working in more than 40 coal mines in the country’s north are on strike against Madrid’s plans to cut about two-thirds of mining subsidies. Meanwhile, the Spanish government says the cuts are necessary to save the economy from collapsing. 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. 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. SZH/JR/AZ
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