Around 20,000 people marched in Madrid behind a banner that said, "They want to ruin the country. We have to stop them." The rally in Spain's capital was supported by 150 organizations, The Associated Press reported.
Protesters chanted slogans against cuts and waved placards reading "youth without jobs, society with no future." That is a reference to the youth unemployment rate, which surpasses 50 percent. Spain's overall jobless rate is nearly 25 percent and social unrest is on the rise.
"They are abusing the lower social classes," 54-year-old teacher Luis Diaz said. "By backing banks, they are torturing the working class and badly affecting public education, health care and pensions when what they should be doing is exactly the opposite."
Trade union leaders said the marches warned the government that tempers were rising and a general strike was brewing.
Workers Commissions union spokesman Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said a likely date for the strike could be as early as Nov. 14.
The government has implemented tough austerity measures over its nine months in office.
Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs. Unemployment is approaching 25 percent.
The worsening eurozone debt crisis has increased Spain's financing costs and the country is seeking a European Union bailout similar to the one Greece received.
On June 9, eurozone finance ministers agreed to lend 100 billion euros to Spain to save its teetering banks, which means more debt will be added to Madrid's already massive debt burden.
Economists say Spain has entered into a second recession. The country has imposed unpopular austerity measures and economic reforms in an effort to persuade its lenders that it is serious about decreasing its overblown deficit to 6.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013.
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