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Spanish Authorities Ban Jobs Protests Ahead Of Elections

A protester stands on the Puerta del Sol square during a protest against joblessness in Madrid on May 20.
Authorities in Spain have banned protests against unemployment that young people are staging across the country ahead of regional and municipal elections on May 22, but many protesters have vowed to defy the ban.

Young protesters angry about lack of jobs and austerity measures have been demonstrating for five days in the central squares of cities across Spain, setting up tent camps where many spend the night.

The protests organized over social media are among some of the largest protests since Spain plunged into recession in 2008.

Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union, at over 21 percent; among 18-to-25-year-olds, unemployment is at 45 percent.

compiled from agency reports