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Spanish Protesters Vow to Continue Demonstrations


A demonstrator holding a sign camps out at Madrid's Puerta del Sol Square, May 29, 2011. The sign reads "Democrat? Don't be silent! To the streets."

A demonstrator holding a sign camps out at Madrid's Puerta del Sol Square, May 29, 2011. The sign reads "Democrat? Don't be silent! To the streets."

Spanish protesters in the capital, Madrid, say they will keep their two-week-old demonstrations in Puerta del Sol Square running, despite the Socialist government's defeat in elections last week.

Hundreds of people voted Sunday evening to keep their encampment in the square going until at least Thursday. Protesters in other cities also agreed to continue their demonstrations for at least a few days.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been packing squares across Spain in a wave of outrage over high unemployment and government austerity measures.

Conservatives won almost 38 percent of the vote in May 22 elections, to 28 percent for the ruling Socialists.

The Socialists lost the cities of Barcelona and Seville, where they traditionally do very well.

After the vote, a glum Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said voters expressed their discontent with an economy in shambles and the European Union's highest unemployment rate - 21.3 percent. But the Spanish leader said he has no plans to hold early national elections. He promised to pursue economic reforms to create jobs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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