Friday, July 20, 2012

"Tens of Thousands" on the Streets All Across Spain to Protest Against Government Austerity Programs

I suppose the phase "tens of thousands" must be the global standard that the media has to follow whenever they have to report a very large demonstration. (If it is just a large demonstration, the phrase is "thousands".)

What good does the government's austerity programs do? Well it will squeeze out enough money to pay to the bankers outside Spain.

From AFP (7/20/2012):

Police fire rubber bullets after huge Madrid protest

Spanish police fired rubber bullets and charged protestors in central Madrid early Friday at the end of a huge demonstration against economic crisis measures.

The protest was one of over 80 demonstrations called by unions across the county against civil servant pay cuts and tax hikes which drew tens of thousands of people, including police and firefighters wearing their helmets.

"Hands up, this is a robbery!" protesters bellowed as they marched through the streets of the Spanish capital.

At the end of the peaceful protest dozens of protestors lingered at the Puerta del Sol, a large square in the heart of Madrid where the demonstration wound up late on Thursday.

Some threw bottles at police and set up barriers made up of plastic bins and cardboard boxes in the middle of side streets leading to the square and set them on fire, sending plumes of thick smoke into the air.

Riot police then charged some of the protestors, striking them with batons when they tried to reach the heavily-guarded parliament building.

The approach of the riot police sent protestors running through the streets of the Spanish capital as tourists sitting on outdoor patios looked on.

A police official told AFP that officers arrested seven people while six people were injured.

The protests held Thursday were the latest and biggest in an almost daily series of demonstrations that erupted last week when Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced measures to save 65 billion euros ($80 billion) and slash the public deficit.

Among the steps is a cut to the Christmas bonus paid to civil servants, equivalent to a seven-percent reduction in annual pay. This came on top of a pay cut in 2010, which was followed by a salary freeze.

"There's nothing we can do but take to the street. We have lost between 10 and 15 percent of our pay in the past four years," said Sara Alvera, 51, a worker in the justice sector, demonstrating in Madrid.

"These measures won't help end the crisis."

(Full article at the link).

At least these people still have jobs. Spain's unemployment rate is over 24%, hitting young people disproportionately. The unemployment rate for people aged 16 to 24 in Spain is 51.5%, about twice as much as the overall average (which has always been the case in Europe, except Germany).


Little canary said...

Also the Spanish taxes rised to 10%.
(more than Japan which is 8%)
Airport fees has been rised to the point where airlines companies are taking off many routes from major spanish holidays spots.

If you add all these changes to the Unemployement rates, from the youth to the senior, you do not have to be an ecomomist to figure out that Spain like Greece is broke.

However the bankers in Spain, as Tepco executives, are doing quite well, no charges or prosecution has been filled against them.

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