Retirees stage protests across Spain, call for higher pensions

Retirees were demonstrating across Spain on Thursday, calling for higher pensions and urging authorities to ensure funding for social security. The biggest protests were in cities including Bilbao, Barcelona and the capital, Madrid, where thousands gathered at the gates of the national parliament, blocking traffic and facing off with rows of police, AP reported. Protesters called the 0.25 percent increase in pensions this year “miserable,” saying it was not enough to keep up with inflation. Organizers, including the biggest workers’ unions, petitioned parliament to call on political parties to stop blocking changes to the laws on pensions. Experts have raised concerns about the sustainability of pension pay-outs in Spain.