MADRID, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Spanish students announced a 72-hour nation-wide strike on Tuesday over increased tuition fees and cuts in the number of scholarships.
"We insist that the new education law [cutting universities' funding, raising tuition fees and placing obstacles to study grants] should be revoked, and demand the repayment of money stolen from public education by reducing spending on education and scholarships, by raising prices, dismissing professors, closing centers and increasing the number of students per teacher," the Secretary General of Spain's Union of Students Ana Garcia told RIA Novosti.
The strike engaging both students and professors is expected to last for three days, with the most numerous demonstrations expected in Madrid.
According to Garcia, students are also demanding the resignation of Spain's Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Jose Ignacio Wert.
"He should resign. Since the People's Party came to power, the quality of education has suffered. This minister is widely hated for his policy," she added.
"Many students have quit their studies simply because they have no money, and this causes resentment and the desire to fight," Garcia added.
The United Left and Podemos ("We can" in English) political parties, as well as a number of public organizations and associations, have expressed their support for the strike.
Over the last three years tuition fees in some Spanish universities have increased by 50 percent. Scholarships, however, have not been increased, and in some cases were even cut by an average of 15 percent around the country. As a result, some students who could not afford to pay for their education have had to quit. There are 45,000 fewer students studying at Spanish universities this year than the previous year.