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Spaniards protested for a seventh consecutive day on Saturday against high employment and austerity measures, ignoring a ban on rallies on the eve of local elections.

The Socialist government has moved to loosen Spain’s rigid labour laws, clamp down on tax evasion and slash spending.

The country’s unemployment rate of 21.3 percent is the highest in the European Union.

Spain’s economy is laden with high levels of private sector debt after a credit-fuelled property boom ended in 2008.

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