Spain protest for disabled: We're being "abandoned"

2 December 2012

It has been the turn of thousands of disabled Spaniards to rally through the Madrid streets in defiance of the latest round of austerity measures.

More than 300 buses brought in protesters and their families from all over the country.

Campaigners warn that the rights and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable in Spanish society are under threat.

Paralympic athlete Roger Puigbo said “They now want to take away welfare support that took a long time to fight for. So we are here to defend it.”

More than 4 million people in Spain have some sort of disability.

They’ve been first to feel the effects of 60 billion euros in cuts since the centre-right government took office last year.

“We four million need more support to ensure we’re not the last ones. We are willing to endure the cuts but not to the point they are reaching,” said one protester.

As well as a lack of cash to pay for home help, many public facilities for the disabled are under threat of closure.

One campaigner said the cuts were condemning many people to a life of social exclusion.

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