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No Cuts to Education

Madrid rocked by new wave of student protests

Thousands of university and high school students flooded central Madrid in a second day of strikes Thursday organized to protest massive cuts in education funding imposed by PM Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party government.

The protests were called by the Students’ Union, which urged students to rally against cuts in spending on schools and universities and increases in education fees. The students also demanded the resignation of Education, Culture and Sports Minister Jose Ignacio Wert, who introduced the reforms.

The demonstrators started burning bins early Thursday morning at Madrid’s Complutense University, which ranks as the top educational establishment in Spain. One person was arrested "for possession of flammable material," AFP reported a police spokeswoman as saying.

In the afternoon, hundreds of protesters gathered in the center of the Spanish capital, shouting slogans such as: “No to education cuts!"

"We don't want to pay your debt with health and education," the protesters shouted, addressing the education minister, AFP reported.

"It makes me sad because they are not giving everyone the opportunity to study," one demonstrator, 18-year-old high school student Karim Martinez, was reported as saying. “They are raising fees and cutting scholarships. A lot of parents do not have the money to pay for university.”

According to the protesters, the impact of the measures on school funding and resources has become unbearable.