Published on
by
Common Dreams

Spanish Fury Over Biggest Austerity Push Ever

"With these cuts, they are ruining us."

by
Common Dreams staff

Spaniards poured onto the streets on Friday evening to protest the government's biggest austerity drive in the history of its democracy.

20120713214744

Protesters carried signs reading, "They call it democracy, and it isn't" while some neared the headquarters of the Popular Party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid and shouted "Resign, resign!"

"With these cuts, they are ruining us," said protester Pedro Lopez, a former law student now facing an employment freeze.

Protesters were met with police force (see video below) and several arrests.

The protest catalyst was Rajoy's $80-billion austerity package announced this week that cuts a Christmas payment for civil workers, raises sales tax, eliminates some civil worker benefits and raises the retirement age. 

Protesters' messages echo anger in the U.S. over corporate tax dodgers and the socialization of losses. "The government should go after the big companies that don't pay tax and bankers that have committed fraud and have run this country to the ground," said Pablo Gonzalez, who works for the Madrid regional government. "Instead, we have to pay."

Friday's protest is on the heels of demonstrations by Spanish miners and thousands of their supporters to protest cuts, and follows months of public anger over austerity.

* * *

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Won't Exist.

Share This Article

More in: