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#Firefighters Clash With Riot Police In Spain During #Austerity Protest (PHOTOS)

In an odd turn of events, firefighters were the ones starting the fires at the latestausterity protest in Spain.

Spanish firefighters clashed with riot policein Barcelona Wednesday as they protested against spending cuts in Catalonia, the economically powerful northeastern region of the country.

Hundreds of public employees, sporting yellow helmets and red jackets, gathered in front of Catalonia’s parliament building. Some ignited flares, threw smoke bombs and burned makeshift coffins labeled “public services.”
firefighters riot police austerity protest

Riot police charge at firefighters during a protest against austerity measures in front of the Catalonia Parliament in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paco Serinelli)

Labor unions that represent the firefighters warned in a statement that the proposed reductions in staff and spending put the “safety of workers and the people of Catalonia” at risk, according to Agence France-Presse.

The fiery protest is one of many to hit the streets of Spain in recent months as the European country has struggled to overcome its severe budget deficit. In February, dozens were arrested after scuffles between protesters and police broke out during a mass demonstration in Madrid, Reuters reported at the time.

According to the Associated Press, the European Union eased its tough stance on austerity Wednesday when it granted several member states, including Spain, more time to get their budget defects under control. However, the countries must now turn their focus to their labor markets and implement reforms to bolster national economies, the European Commission said.

See more photos of the fracas between firefighters and police in the gallery below.

via Firefighters Clash With Riot Police In Spain During Austerity Protest (PHOTOS).

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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