THE Spanish government has splashed out €1 million on anti-riot materials amid fears of an autumn of discontent.

The interior ministry has snapped up various items from stab-vests to a new truck-mounted water cannon.

Opposition Socialists have compared the anti-riot measures to those imposed during Franco’s dictatorship, with Antonio Trevin terming them ‘a return to times that we would rather forget’.

The Spanish branch of Amnesty International said the purchase was a ‘worrying development’, citing negative examples of the use of similar equipment in Greece.

The Spanish government claims it needs the equipment to deal with a series of forthcoming demonstrations including one on the monarchy and another on planned oil drilling off the Canary Islands.

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