Protesters march for refugees

People march during a protest demanding the Spanish government fulfill its pledge to give shelter to refugees, in Madrid Saturday. (AP photo)

MADRID (AP) — Protesters are marching in Madrid to urge Spain’s conservative government to fulfill its pledge to give shelter to refugees from war-torn countries like Syria.

Braving temperatures that reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, several thousand marchers followed a huge banner that read “We Want To Welcome Them Now! Enough Excuses, No More Barriers” along the Spanish capital’s Gran Via street.

Spain has taken in fewer than 10 percent of the refugees it pledged to accept by September. It has relocated or resettled 1,304 of the 17,337 people — 15,888 from camps in Italy and Greece and 1,449 from Turkey and Libya– that it promised to take in September 2015.

In February, at least 160,000 people marched in Barcelona to demand the Spanish government fulfill its commitment on refugees.