Spain's handicapped fill Madrid to protest cuts

Associated Press

MADRID (AP) — Disabled people have taken to the streets of Madrid in the latest protest against broad austerity measures, angry over government cutbacks reducing services, closing disability centers and forcing care workers from their jobs.

More than 10,000 people, many in wheelchairs or being led by guide dogs, marched in a demonstration with the slogan "SOS Disability: Save our Rights, Inclusion and Welfare."

Health care spending falls under the responsibility of regional governments, many of which are indebted. Some local administrations have failed to pay medical centers, forcing cuts in services and a slow-down in the distribution of medicine.

Protester Manuel Gonzalez says that assistance has decreased and in some cases dried up completely. He says, "we don't want to be taken back 40 years."

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