May 24, 2013
Tens of thousands in Spain protest economic policy, corruption
Thousands of people participated today in a massive march in Spain to protest against corruption and the austerity measures imposed by the government of Mariano Rajoy.
Gathering under the banner of the "Citizen Tide," students, doctors, unionists, young families and pensioners staged rowdy but non-violent demonstrations as a near five-year economic slump shows no sign of recovery and mass unemployment rises.
Organizers had called the people to protest at the parliament against the austerity measures.
This massive march comes on the anniversary of the failed Coup of 1981 by armed forces on Spain’s parliament, that is why one of the main mottos today is "No to the financial coup."
In Madrid, four parallel marches were summoned and by 6pm, they began marching towards the parliament, were the at least 1,400 policemen were protecting the area.
During the pacific march, protesters were holding signs that read "There's no lack of money, there are many thieves," and "Rajoy imitate the pope and resign."
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced some of the deepest budget cuts in Spain's democratic history in an attempt to convince investors the country can weather the economic crisis without falling back on international aid.
But, with more than half of the country's young people out of work and growth not expected until sometime next year, the measures have only scratched the surface of the budget shortfall which is expected to be more than double the target in 2014.
Meanwhile, corruption scandals which have hit the ruling party as well as the once-popular royal family has left many Spaniards disenchanted with their leaders on all sides of the political spectrum.