Tens of thousands of Portuguese and Spanish people took to the streets to demonstrate against austerity measures imposed by their governments to combat the banking sector debt crisis, BBC reported. The protesters rallied against increased taxes and spending cuts in towns across the Iberian Peninsula.
At least one person in Portugal attempted to light themselves on fire to protest their economic hardship. Throughout the two countries and especially in their respective capitals of Lisbon and Madrid, public sector workers filled the streets and blocked central squares. Among the various anti-government messages broadcast at the rallies were "They are sinking the country".
But the Spanish government defended the austerity measures they had put in place, claiming that the "sacrifices" were absolutely necessary if they were to extract the country – the continent's fourth largest in economic activity – from the financial crisis.