Search This Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elections Kick Off In Spain Amid Protests

Spaniards have gone to the polls following a wave of pre-election protests across the country.

Tens of thousands of Spaniards spent the week leading up to the elections demonstrating about high unemployment rates in the country.

Demonstrators filled the country's city squares in a wave of outrage over government austerity measures, marking a shift after years of patience over a long economic slump.
Witnesses said at least 20,000 people packed the Puerta del Sol plaza in the heart of Madrid on Friday night.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero casts his ballot for Spain's regional elections with his wife Sonsoles Espinosa in Madrid on May 22, 2011.
The Spanish prime minister and his wife cast their vote in Madrid
They were challenging a law against political events on the eve of elections, which went into effect at midnight.
The demonstrations continued on Saturday night and when the clock struck midnight signalling election day, the crowd gathered at the Puerta del Sol plaza erupted into chants of "This is how Madrid votes".
Police did not clamp down on the demonstrations despite the legislation which has been upheld by the supreme and constitutional courts.
Inma Moreno, 25, was among the protesters who gathered in the capital's main square.
"I'm protesting because I've got no job future in Spain even though I've finished my degree in tourism," she said.
"This should make the political classes aware that something is not right."
Analysts said that police action against the peaceful demonstrations would be disastrous for the Socialists.
Tens of thousands of people packed Madrid's main square on the eve of the local elections in protest over the spiralling unemployment rates in the country.
Madrid's main square was packed on the eve of the elections
Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has failed to contain the highest unemployment in the European Union at 21.3%, said he respected the protesters, also signalling an unwillingness to crack down on the movement.
More than 34 million people are eligible to vote with the Spaniards electing 8,116 city councils and 13 out of 17 regional governments when they go to the polls.
Protesters called on people not to vote for the two main parties, the Socialists and the centre-right opposition Popular Party.
Demonstrators camp out in Madrid's Puerta del Sol during seventh day of protests.
Demonstrators have camped out in Madrid all week
The Socialists are expected to suffer major losses.
In the past year, Spain has struggled to emerge from a recession.
The collapse of the construction sector and a decline in consumer spending have hit the young particularly hard with 45% of 18 to 25-year-olds being unemployed.


  1. Yeah, I watched this live.

    I was born in Spain, my grandma is still there..

    and believe me, the crowd on live TV was INSANE lol


Make Money Blogging