Spanish police clash with protesting students

Baton-wielding police charge students protesting education reforms with sit-in

Seven people have been arrested and 80 injured in clashes in Barcelona between police and university students protesting planned education reforms.

The clashes occurred during two city-centre protests Wednesday in the northeastern Spanish city after police forced students out of a university office they had occupied since November.

Police wielding batons charged the protesters as many students threw rocks, chairs and bottles at the officers.

The spokeswoman says 46 of the injured are police officers and several news photographers were also injured.

None of the injuries was reported to be serious.

The spokesman discussed the situation on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

Groups of university students across Spain have been protesting for months against changes proposed under a Europe-wide reform of higher education called the Bologna Process, which is meant to allow students to study abroad more easily and for university degrees to be equally recognized in participating countries.

The intended changes have been received without criticism in most countries, but some Spanish undergraduates complain the moves are likely to benefit wealthier students who can pay for postgraduate specialization.

– The Canadian Press