Spain, Portugal brace for more anti-austerity protests


Demonstrators march in downtown Lisbon following a 24-hour general strike across Portugal on March 22, 2012.



Spain and Portugal are preparing for more widespread protests against anti-austerity measures, the Associated Press reported.

Tens of thousands are expect to attend a demonstration near the Spanish Parliament in downtown Madrid, which saw violence and arrests during protests last week.

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The Spanish government has said its banks will need almost 60 billion euros to avoid a serious economic downturn next year, with 40 billion of that to come from European aid, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile protests are also planned today in Portugal, one of the countries hardest hit by the euro zone crisis and where there have been relatively fewer demonstrations against spending cuts, Radio France Internationale reported.

The action was called by the country's largest union federation, the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers, which representing over 700,000 workers.

Portugal is obliged to raise taxes and cut spending after accepting a 78 billion euro bailout last year.

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