Spain was set for another day on Wednesday of protests against government austerity policies, with demonstrators in Madrid planning to repeat a rally that led to clashes a day before, while the country's north faced a general strike, dpa reported.
Sixty-four people were injured in Tuesday's clashes in Madrid, including 27 police officers, according to figures given by police. One person was seriously injured. Twenty-eight were detained.
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz on Wednesday defended the police response, saying that some of the demonstrators used "too much violence" and that any possible attempts to occupy parliament would have been illegal.
Meanwhile, in the northern Basque region and Navarre, a general strike was taking place to protest the government's budget cuts. Unions also accuse Rajoy of dismantling labour and social rights.
The strike had a strong following especially in industry and schools, according to the Basque nationalist trade unions ELA and LAB, which had called the strike.
Hospitals and public transport were due to maintain minimum services. Some incidents were reported, such as protesters spraying bank offices with paint or trying to block traffic.
Rajoy's government has faced growing anger over budget cuts in social spending and in public workers' salaries as it struggles to trim the 8.9-per-cent budget deficit and to ward off a full-scale international bailout.