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Cement Mixer Used in Irish Bank Protest, and Workers Strike in Spain

6:09 AM, Sep 29, 2010   |    comments
Strikers clash with police during general strike, Madrid, Spain
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DUBLIN (AP) -- A cement mixer has rammed into the gates of the
Irish parliament in an apparent protest at the country's
catastrophically expensive bank bailout.

Police said they had arrested a 41-year-old man at the scene
Wednesday but gave few other details.

The truck hit the guarded gates of Ireland's legislature around
7:15 a.m.(0615GMT). Written across the truck's barrel in red
letters were the words: "Toxic Bank Anglo."

It is an apparent reference to Anglo Irish Bank, which was
nationalized last year to save it from collapse. The bank owes some euro72 billion ($97 billion) to depositors worldwide, leaving Irish taxpayers with a mammoth bill at a time when people are suffering through high unemployment, tax hikes and heavy budget cuts.

The truck is still being removed.

Elsewhere, workers in Spain are staging a general strike to
protest austerity measures imposed by a government struggling to slash its budget deficit and overcome recession.

In the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, whistle-blowing picketers
blocked trucks from delivering produce at the main wholesale
markets in Madrid and Barcelona.

Strikers hurled eggs and screamed "scabs" at drivers trying to
leave a garage housing city buses in Madrid.

This is Spain's first general strike since 2002 and marks a
bitter split in the close relationship between unions and Spain's
Socialist government.

The strike was called to protest austerity measures that include
wage cuts for civil servants and labor market reforms that make it easier and cheaper for companies to lay people off.

Associated Press

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