Blood flows down the face of an injured protester who was injured during clashes between supporters of Spanish coal miners and riot police as they ended a "Marcha Negra" (Black March) near the Industry Ministry in Madrid July 11, 2012. Thousands of miners and supporters, chanting and throwing firecrackers, marched through the centre of Madrid on Wednesday in protest against government austerity measures, but Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced more pain in a new series of taxes and spending cuts. Joined by trade unionists in the capital, the miners rallied noisily at the climax of a 44-day protest against a 60 percent cut in coal subsidies which they say will force mines to close and put many out of work. (Photo : REUTERS/Paul Hanna)
Things got violent in Madrid when police opened fire and arrested numerous coal miners protesting sharp cuts in government support.
Miners had marched south from the northern regions of Spain for 18 days and covered more than 250 miles to arrive in Madrid. The protest was a reaction to the government's decision to drop coal industry from 300 million Euros in 2011 to just 111 million Euros. Just two days ago, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that there were plans to cut another 65 billion euros off the state budget within the next two and a half years.
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The miners chanted, waved banners, set off fire crackers in the nation's capitol for hours before eventually being confronted by the police. When some of the miners threw bottles at the police, the officers responded by shooting at the crowds and arresting dozens of prisoners. According to the Telegraph, more than 20 people were injured, including police officers, demonstrators, and civilian onlookers.
Spain is currently struggling to meet a budget-deficit target for 2012 that is sharply lower than the 8.9% of gross domestic product the government had in 2011. They applied for help from the European Union weeks ago, but are attempting to avoid a complete sovereign bailout. Spain had been able to avoid the violence that had marred the Greek protests and economic turmoil months ago. However, the police violence toward the protesters presented a clear indication that Spain's turmoil is entering a new phase.