Thousands march in cities across Spain protesting government austerity policies, unemployment

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are marching in dozens of Spanish cities to protest sky-high unemployment, what they say is the government*s inefficient handling of the economy and corruption scandals, including one engulfing the royal family.

Rallies have been organized in Madrid and 60 other cities Sunday by 150 organizations including trade unions representing the construction, car and television industries as well as police and health services.

Spain's unemployment rate is at a staggering 26 percent and the economy is immersed in its second recession in three years, with many young graduates and qualified professionals emigrating to find jobs elsewhere.

General Workers Union spokesman Candido Mendez said it was clear most people rejected the government's austerity policies, which he said were pushing many toward poverty and away from democracy.