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Strikes in Spain, Italy and Portugal as Europe Protests Austerity

- 2012-11-14T10:41:05Z

Photograph by Miguel Tona/EPA

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Rajoy, who won a landslide election victory a year ago, is wrestling with the second-largest budget deficit in the euro region while trying to revive the economy from a five-year slump that pushed the jobless rate to 26 percent. He is trying to avoid following Portugal, Greece and Ireland into seeking a sovereign bailout as Spaniards resist the measures being implemented as a condition for the 100 billion-euro European bank rescue he agreed to in June.

Left, Basque police intervene as picketers try to prevent buses from leaving a depot in Bilbao, Spain.