Spain sets stiff fines for unauthorized protests, allows summary expulsion of migrants

Spain's lower house of parliament has approved legislation that allows for the summary expulsion of migrants entering the country's North African enclaves illegally and hefty fines for protests outside parliament buildings or strategic installations.

The Public Security Law was approved in a 181-141 vote Thursday after being heavily criticized by opposition parties and judicial and social groups as an attempt by the conservative government to muzzle protests over its handling of the severe economic crisis.

The measures, which update a 1992 law, also include fines of up to 30,000 euros ($37,000) for disseminating photographs of police officers that endanger them or police operations.

Spanish cities have been the scene of weekly mostly peaceful protests since the onset of the crisis in 2008.