Spanish reformists stage rallies in 60 cities

Thousand of demonstrators hold banners and shout slogans

Thousand of demonstrators hold banners and shout slogans as they protest against the Euro zone leaders's agreed 'Pact For The Euro' on June 19, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Thousands of Spaniards joined marches across Spain to protest against how the country's economic crisis is being handled and the so-called 'Euro Pact', aimed at increasing the bloc's competitiveness and economic stability. (Credit: Getty)

Tens of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated Sunday around the country, blaming the country's economic crisis on politicians and bankers, and demanding democratic reforms.

Rallies were held in about 60 cities. Police and officials put the number of demonstrators at nearly 40,000 in Madrid, 20,000 in Barcelona, 18,000 in Granada, and several thousand in Valencia, Seville and Bilbao. No violence was reported.

Six marches converged near the parliament building in central Madrid. Protesters read out a manifesto calling for a general strike and a revolution. In the evening, demonstrators gathered at Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square.

The protest movement, known as 15-M or The Indignant Ones, was launched with similar rallies on May 15, one week before Spain's local and regional elections. The movement was begun by young people but Sunday's protest drew people of all ages.

Sunday's rallies protested the power of financial markets over politics, the economic crisis, corruption, and the Pact for the Euro, which is designed to stimulate growth in the common currency zone.

The association Real Democracy Now, which is one of the driving forces behind the 15-M movement, called simultaneous rallies in nearly 100 cities around the world.

In Paris, dozens of people were detained for participating in an unauthorized rally, according to Spanish television reports. Organizers calling on the Internet for the Spanish rallies stressed the need for them to remain peaceful, after violence in Barcelona last week.

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