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Spain says 32 arrested as general strike begins

Wednesday - 11/14/2012, 3:38am  ET

MADRID (AP) - A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began.

The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries.

Ministry official Cristina Diaz played down participation saying it was hardly noticeable in goods haulage and major city wholesale food markets.

She said electricity consumption, a gauge of industrial activity, was down 11 percent on a normal working day.

Strikes and protests are also planned in Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Belgium.

With a 25 percent unemployment rate, Spain is at the core of Europe's debt crisis.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)