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01:42 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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At Least 12 Injured in Madrid Anti-Austerity Protests

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At least 12 people were injured after anti-austerity protesters clashed with riot police in Madrid, Spanish media reported on Sunday.

At least 12 people were injured after anti-austerity protesters clashed with riot police in Madrid, Spanish media reported on Sunday.

Several thousand Spaniards massed in Plaza de Neptuno square near the parliament building in central Madrid on Saturday evening to protest further belt-tightening after the Spanish government approved a harsh budget for next year envisaging record spending cuts by 40 billion euros ($51 billion).

The protesters called for the government’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament and the adoption of a new constitution amid a deteriorating economy and the eurozone’s highest unemployment rate that had hit 25 percent.

The protest turned violent after midnight when the riot police tried to disperse the crowd, saying the term for the rally authorized by the authorities had expired. In response, the protesters hurled stones and petrol at the police.

The protest is the third rally held over the week, with the most violent demonstration occurring on Tuesday when 38 people were arrested and 64 injured.