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    Violence flares during Spain general strike

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    Spanish workers angry at a labour reform the government calls an "unstoppable" necessity staged a general strike on Thursday, bringing factories and ports to a standstill and igniting flashes of violence on the streets.

    Tens of thousands of protesters packed a square in central Madrid to vent their anger at the labour reforms and deep spending cuts, while in Barcelona, police fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd that had set bins ablaze on the sidelines of a demonstration.

    Thursday's strike was called by trade unions protesting against labour reforms and spending cuts which the conservative government says are needed to save the economy, and has resulted in some mild clashes and detentions of at least 58 people so far.

    Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips reports from Madrid.