Thousands of jobless Spaniards marched through Madrid Saturday in the latest angry demonstrations against economic crisis cuts, as fears rose for the country’s financial stability.
Young people thrown out of work by the recession converged on the capital, many of them having hiked hundreds of miles from around Spain, and walked through the city’s central avenues, waving banners and whistling.
“Hands up, this is a robbery!” they yelled, their regular refrain over recent days of protests. “Everyone get up and fight!”
It was the latest in a string of protests that have erupted since Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced 65 billion euros ($80 billion) in fresh austerity measures on July 11, including cuts to pay and unemployment benefits.
“I am very disappointed and angry,” said Alba Sanchez, 25, who had come by car from the northeastern region of Catalonia to join the demonstration.
“People cannot allow all these cuts by this government that hates us.”
The crowd marched peacefully to the sound of drums and trumpets and stopped at the Puerta del Sol square, the symbolic hub of numerous social protests, where demonstrators sat down and held a popular assembly.
On Thursday hundreds of thousands of demonstrators massed there after a mostly peaceful protest march that ended with police firing rubber bullets to disperse small groups of protestors.
Spain's population is only 46 million or so. Protests involving hundreds of thousands would be the equivalent of a million plus here in the states. Austerity there is failing, miserably. The country's unemployment rate is almost 25% and things are only getting worse.
And when Spain goes down in flames, Europe will too.