Tens of thousands marched across rain-drenched Spain on Sunday against fresh cuts and tax rises days after official figures showed nearly one in four Spaniards are now jobless.
Protests took place from Barcelona to Bilbao and regional capitals all over the country.
Communist Party-backed United Left leader Cayo Lara addressed a big rally in Madrid where he said protesters believed the right-wing government was trying to use the financial crisis to force through its long-term goals of selling-off essential services to the private sector.
Sunday's demonstrations came in the same week that economic data revealed the country falling into a double-dip recession following huge cuts to spending and welfare demanded by overseas investors and the European Union in return for bailout loans.
Unemployment hit 24.4 per cent - the worst in Europe - and credit ratings agencies downgraded Spain's credit-worthiness despite its stringent cuts.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost this year alone amid an assault on working conditions, public-sector employment and welfare.
However the government is intent on continuing its programme of vicious cuts despite signs it is plunging the country further into recession.
Madrid has promised to shave its public deficit to 5.3 per cent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 8.5 per cent last year.
Addressing a rally on Friday People's Party Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a new raft of tax rises claiming he had "no alternative."
A week ago his government scrapped free medicine for pensioners and introduced higher fees for students claiming that this would save 10 billion euros (£8.15bn).
And today protesters marched with banners reading "It's criminal to slash health" and "people of Europe, arise."
Mechanic Evaristo Villar, who joined the Madrid rally, said: "The government will hear us. I don't know, though, if it will pay any attention."
But civil servant Domingo Zamora said: "Cuts in health care and education, that's the last straw for us, the working class.
"Without that, what's left? We don't even have work."
Lord Feldman says that he didn't call grassroots Tories "mad swivel-eyed loons" while his accusers stand by their stories that he did.
As Aslef's annual assembly of delegates begins in Edinburgh tomorrow the general secretary explains the challenges his members - and workers across the country - face
France is the latest to face clamour from the EU to enforce crippling 'structural reforms.' The medicine is killing the patient