Hundreds of thousands take to the streets to denounce austerity and defend democracy as corruption scandals shake Spanish royal house and government.
For millions of Spaniards, the embarrassing issue of the country’s anachronistic aristocracy is enough of a headache already. As Spain’s crisis burst out into the open, King Juan Carlos infamously went elephant-hunting in Botswana, amply displaying the insensitivity and aloofness of the head of state (who also serves as honorary president of the country’s WWF branch). Meanwhile, the King’s daughter and son-in-law are facing major corruption charges for multi-million euro fraud and money-laundering.
Tens of thousands in Spain protest economic policy, corruption
MADRID | Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:57pm EST
(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Spaniards marched through cities across the country on Saturday to protest deep austerity, the privatization of public services and political corruption.
Gathering under the banner of the “Citizen Tide”, students, doctors, unionists, young families and pensioners staged rowdy but non-violent demonstrations as a near five-year economic slump shows no sign of recovery and mass unemployment rises.
“I’m here to add my voice. They’re cutting where they shouldn’t cut; health, education … basic services. And the latest corruption scandal is just the tiniest tip of a very large iceberg,” said Alberto, 51, an account administrator for a German multinational in Madrid, who preferred not to give his surname.
Protests in Spain have become commonplace