MADRID: Public workers, small political parties and non-profit organisations will stage protests on Saturday against government austerity measures in dozens of Spanish cities, with the biggest demonstration expected to be held in Madrid.
Nurses, doctors, students, miners and members of Spain’s “indignant” movement against economic inequality are set to join in the so-called “citizens’ tide” against the steep spending cuts and tax hikes imposed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government to slash the public deficit.
The day of protest coincides with the 31st anniversary of the failure of right-wing military coup that sought to crush Spain’s young democracy and restore military rule.
“We are facing a real financial coup, that is why we have chosen this date,” Paco Segura, spokesman for one of the organising associations, Ecologists in Action, told a news conference.
“Today our democracy is also threatened, that is why we protest to demand a true democracy where people can decide their future,” he added.
Rajoy’s government, in power since December 2011, has launched a campaign to squeeze 150 billion euros out of the crisis-wracked country’s budget by 2014.
The austerity measures, which include tax hikes and cuts to public workers’ pay, have fuelled anger in a country grappling with an unemployment rate of 26 per cent — a level comparable to the United States in the Great Depression.