Published on
Common Dreams

Spanish Fury Over Biggest Austerity Push Ever

"With these cuts, they are ruining us."

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.


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.

* * *

Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.

Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.

Share This Article

More in: