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Spain police arrest five over 'Robin Hood'-style supermarket looting

MADRID -- Spanish police have arrested five left-wing union activists for their alleged role in a "Robin Hood"-style looting of a supermarket made to highlight the plight of people suffering through the country's recession, authorities said Friday.

The southern Andalusian Workers' Union made news Tuesday when a handful of its activists made off with nine trolleys full of food from a supermarket in the southern town of Ecija and left without paying. They later handed the food to poor unemployed people.


A police statement said one person was arrested during an eviction Friday of members of the union who were squatting on Defense Ministry land to protest its abandonment and demanding it be handed over to hard-pressed farmers.

Two others were arrested elsewhere Friday, and two on Thursday.

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Spain is in the midst of its worst financial crisis in recent memory. Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government has pursued severe austerity measures, including deep spending cuts and tax hikes.

Street protests by public workers, students, unions and other groups have become commonplace across the country, according to reports.

NBC News' staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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