Tens of thousand of marchers occupied the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities, protesting a record unemployment rate of 5 million jobless workers as Spain soaks in its second major recession in three years. Major protests like these are now happening every couple of weeks.
The rallies were organized by trade unions representing industries including construction, automobile, television, and health care. They’re demanding a solution to the unemployment problem and the “renewal of Democracy.”
The General Workers Union (UGT) and others are pointing their fingers squarely at Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, with signs calling him a “con man”, and others demanding “Bread and a roof at a fair price!!”
Rahoy and his conservative government have willingly played along with European Union-inspired privatization and cuts to social services and infrastructure that they believe will save the economy. Instead, unemployment is 26 percent with youth unemployment running as high as 50 percent. People are losing their homes and several have committed suicide rather than face homelessness.
One million people had already signed a petition demanding Rajoy resign for a financial “black money” scandal in his own political party’s coffers.