Thousands protest in Madrid over budget cuts

THOUSANDS joined protests in the Spanish capital of Madrid this weekend, motivated by their hatred of budget cuts and calling for the government to quit.

The BBC reported demonstrators held a minute's silence with their backs to parliament, then shouted "resign" with fists clenched.

Parliament was guarded by hundreds of police officers.

PM Mariano Rajoy's government plans spending cuts of about 40 billion euros for next year as it tries to prevent the need for an EU bailout.

The Spanish government has found itself in financial difficulty since the 2008 global financial crisis caused a big crash in the country's over-heated property market.