Naked firefighters protest the Spanish government's $80 billion in cuts to public sector wages, as well as tax increases, inside their fire station in Mieres, near Oviedo, northern Spain, July 19, 2012. The banner reads, "So many cuts have left us with nothing."
The new austerity measures, recently announced by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, were one of the conditions met so that the financially strapped nation can receive $120 billion in bailout money from Eurozone countries. These are the biggest cuts Spaniards have had to endure in the country's democratic history, and hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets, escalating demonstrations that have taken place over the past year.
Click through the gallery to see the faces of those affected by Spain's financial crisis and austerity measures.
Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters
We Want Change
Striking miners protesting the government's mining-sector spending cuts take pictures near barricades of burning tires on the A-6 motorway, in El Montico, near Oviedo, northern Spain, May 24, 2012. Spain's economy is contracting for the second time since late 2009, and four years of stagnation and recession have pushed unemployment above 24 percent, the highest rate in the European Union.
Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters
Buried Social Rights
Txera Alonso, a volunteer from the pressure group Berri-Otxoak, takes part in a "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross) protest against unemployment, social services cuts, and reduction in housing benefit, in the Spanish Basque town of Barakaldo, February 6, 2012. The unemployment rate in Spain at this point was reported at 21.5 percent, with a record 4.9 million people without jobs. The industrial coastal town of Barakaldo claims 18 percent unemployment, and the benefits budget has been reduced by half in the past year, according to Berri-Otxoak. The sign on the cross reads, "The town hall buries social rights."
Photo: Vincent West/Reuters
A civil service worker holds up a placard depicting a parody of Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a protest over government austerity measures at Madrid's landmark Puerta del Sol, in front of city hall, on July 13, 2012. Spanish workers blocked streets and railways in protest of new austerity measures they say hurt ordinary people more than the bankers and politicians blamed for the country's economic crisis.
Photo: Paul Hanna/Reuters
A demonstrator steps out of a fountain full of foam after participating in a protest against government austerity measures in central Madrid on July 19, 2012. A protest movement against the center-right Spanish government's latest austerity measures swelled as public sector workers stepped up demonstrations in Madrid and around the country.
Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters
Want of Another World
Tourists have their photo taken as they become part of a cardboard painting depicting Madrid's Puerta del Sol at the encampment in Puerta del Sol, June 2, 2011. Dubbed "los indignados" (the indignant), tens of thousands of demonstrators packed squares across Spain in a wave of outrage over high unemployment and government austerity measures in the run-up to local and regional elections on May 22. The T-shirts read: "We Are Sol" and "We want another world."