Unions in Spain’s Basque country have been holding a general stoppage in protest at the government’s belt-tightening measures to avoid a Greek-style crisis.
In Bilbao, hundreds of people took the streets forcing shops and businesses to close.
Police made several arrests as anger turned into violence.
Elsewhere, striking workers protesting over a five percent pay cut forced the closure of Madrid’s metro.
Under Spanish law, staff are supposed to provide an agreed minimum level of services, which kept the capital’s underground rail network running yesterday on the first day of action.
The move is expected to be repeated on Wednesday as union anger spreads over the austerity measures.