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Spain sees worst clashes since austerity imposed (PHOTOS)

Published time: June 16, 2012 08:42
Edited time: June 16, 2012 16:45
Coal miners fire a rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the El Soton coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

Coal miners fire a rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the El Soton coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

Striking coal miners have clashed with police in northern Spain, resulting in at least seven people injured. The workers fired skyrockets and ball-bearings while officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

The miners in Asturias of were protesting the government’s plans to cut by almost two thirds the 300 million-euro subsidies to the industry.

Activists say as many as 4,000 jobs are at risk of disappearing due to the austerity measures.

Protesters were trying to block roads with burning tires, the Interior Ministry said. At least four of those injured were police officers trying to restore the order, while another was journalist, who was hit by a rubber bullet in the chest.

Spain is one of the economies worst hit by the ongoing European crisis, which forced the government to make a number of painful spending cuts. On Saturday, eurozone ministers agreed to lend Madrid up to 100 billion euros to help bail out its struggling banks.

Spanish miners have been on strike all across northern Spain for weeks.

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A miner catches a rubber bullet in the air during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego	(Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
A miner catches a rubber bullet in the air during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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Spanish national riot police try to take cover after a home-made rocket explodes near them during clashes with coal miners inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
Spanish national riot police try to take cover after a home-made rocket explodes near them during clashes with coal miners inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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Coal miners fire a rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
Coal miners fire a rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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A miner fires a home-made rocket as he hides behind a wall during a clash with Spanish national riot police inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
A miner fires a home-made rocket as he hides behind a wall during a clash with Spanish national riot police inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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A coal miner use a slingshot in a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
A coal miner use a slingshot in a clash with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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A coal miner shouts during clashes with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
A coal miner shouts during clashes with Spanish national riot police in the surroundings of the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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Coal miners hide behind shields as they fire a home-made rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)
Coal miners hide behind shields as they fire a home-made rocket during a clash with Spanish national riot police inside the "El Soton" coal mine in El Entrego (Reuters / Eloy Alonso)

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