Thousands of Spanish coal miners have descended on Madrid in protest against cuts to subsidies as the country's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, announces a hike in taxes.
The miners, many of whom have been on indefinite strike since May, have marched on the capital from numerous coalfaces in the Asturias and Leon regions in the north of the country, some marching as far as 250 miles in three weeks.
The so-called 'Black March' comes as prime minister Rajoy is attempting to push through some of the harshest budgetary cuts in the eurozone, which will see subsidies for coal miners slashed drastically.
On Tuesday night, the miners converged in the Puerta del Sol, the Spanish capital's most iconic square, and the same location where significant anti-austerity protests were held last year.
Preceding the demonstration, workers clashed with riot police in the northern areas of Spain, with rubber bullets fired by police and home made rockets shot back at police, while roads and railways were blocked by burning barricades.
The protesters arrived as Rajoy said VAT would increase by 3%, sales tax would go up to 21% and there would be a 3.5bn euro cut in local authority budgets.
The measures come on the back of a £24bn EU bailout for Spanish banks and a national deficit reduction. The government is attempting to shield public services from further cuts and remedy the huge unemployment problem - with the jobless rate at a staggering 24% .
Spain's finance minister, Luis de Guindos, said the bank bailout money would be injected over the course of 18 months.
De Guindos said the potential bailout "puts us in a position to clean up the Spanish financial system that I think is going to go very deep."
The bailout will reportedly be finalised by the end of July.