Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images
A woman holds a card reading "This bank cheats, defrauds, throws people out of their houses" during a protest held outside Caja Madrid bank's headquarters in Madrid on May 14, 2012.
Alberto Di Lolli / AP
Riot police stand guard in front of a branch of the recently nationalized Caja Madrid bank during a protest in Madrid on May 14, 2012.
The Associated Press reports — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Sunday defended his government's harsh austerity measures aimed at correcting Spain's grim economic forecast, one day after tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to protest his handling of the country's worst crisis in decades.
On Friday the government ordered independent assessments of its banks' debt loads and forced them to set aside billions more in provisions for the real estate sector.