Tens of thousands gather to protest austerity measures in Spain.
Spain is facing more social protests ahead of Sunday’s local and regional elections after thousands of people demanded ‘real democracy’ in rallies around the country.
Demonstrations would continue, Fabio Gandara, one of the organizers of last Sunday’s protests, told the daily El Pais on Monday.
About 50 young people meanwhile spent the night at Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square, saying they may stay there until the elections.
Rallies were also staged in Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Valencia, Palma de Majorca and other cities. They were backed by about 400 associations representing ecologists, the unemployed, people unable to pay mortgages, opponents of neo-liberalism and globalization, among others.
The movement was launched on Facebook, calling on citizens to show that they were not just ‘merchandise in the hands of politicians and bankers.’
Demonstrators demanded an end to corruption, political systems favouring only large parties and slammed ‘governments in the hands of bankers’ which imposed austerity policies undermining social rights.
‘This is not a crisis, it is embezzlement,’ protestors chanted in Madrid in a reference to Spain’s economic crisis, which has made unemployment soar to 20 per cent – the eurozone’s highest jobless rate.
‘I have two university degrees and I cannot get a job paying more than 5,000 euros (7,050 dollars) annually,’ said Ana Sierra, 26. ‘We study, we make efforts and now the only possibility is to emigrate. We are condemned to living precariously,’ she said.
According to opinion polls, the opposition conservative Peoples Party (PP) will easily defeat Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists, whose second term has been marked by the economic crisis.
People are fed up with the bank bailouts and the high joblessness. Greece now Spain. Bankers should be scared, humans worldwide are taking back the reins to their economy.