Protesters Clash With Police Outside Spanish Parliament Ahead of Budget Announcement


The anti-austerity protest in Madrid, named "Occupy Congress", has descended into a something of a brawl. Some protesters tried to tear down barriers in front of parliament and were met with baton charges and rubber bullets. At the time of writing there have been thirty-two injuries and twenty-three arrests reported.

The protestors (or Indignants, as they are known) are demonstrating against what they call the "kidnapping of democracy." Much of the anger is directed against the bailout the Spanish government is currently considering. From the BBC:

Pablo Mendez, an activist from the 15M Indignants movement, told the Associated Press: "This is just a powerful signal that we are sending to politicians to let them know that the Spanish bailout is suicide and we don't agree with it, and we will try to prevent it happening."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is under pressure to secure austerity reforms and negotiate a 2013 budget:

With this year's budget deficit target looking untenable, the conservative government is now looking at such things as cuts in inflation-linked pensions, taxes on stock transactions, "green taxes" on emissions or eliminating tax breaks.

The 2013 budget is the second one conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has had to pass since he took office in December. Spain must persuade its European partners that it can cut the budget shortfall by more than 60 billion euros by 2014.

Rajoy has already passed spending cuts and tax hikes worth slightly more than that over the next two years, but half-year figures show the 2012 deficit target slipping from view as tax income forecasts will not be hit due to economic contraction.

Elsewhere in Spain it was announced that Catalonia will hold its elections early. The president of the province, Artur Mas, has pledged to fight for independence. The dire fiscal situation of many of Spain's constituent provinces is an added concern for the central government, which is struggling with its own budget and reforms. 

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  1. The ATM machine is closed. That is all.

  2. Another demonstrator, Montse Puigdavall, said: “I’m here because of the situation we are living in now, because of all the social cuts and rights that we have lost, that took a lot of hard work to achieve.

    “So we are here because we’re determined not to lose them.”

    Hey Monty, buddy, if someone else has to pay for it in order for you to have it, it’s not a “right”.

    The best part about these Euro-riots is that they are just going to keep getting worse. Incredibly, they are more broke than we are, and there is nothing in the short or long term that will change this reality.

    Austerity is bitch, but things that can’t continue, won’t.

  3. The unreality that so many people live in is absolutely amazing.

    YOU ARE OUT OF MONEY. That means cutbacks. What do they expect, money to be conjured out of thin air?

    1. I hear you are going to be the proud owner of a new arena. I’ll put you down as not being pleased by that vote.

      1. For the last month I can’t tell you how many idiots on Facebook have been agitating endlessly for bringing back the Sonics and building another arena in SoDo (which will make certain trips that I make all the time even more retarded if there is a game). I restrained myself from tearing into them because I was sure it wasn’t going to happen.

        Yeah, I’m pissed off and the next idiot who praises this is going to get torn a new asshole.

        1. I would avoid the Seattle Times comments page then, my friend.

          1. I always do. I have better things to get outraged over.

    2. Same shit is coming here, and we may be equally in denial of reality.

      1. Oh, I wasn’t restricting “so many people” to Spain, dude. That includes here too.

  4. people pissed at loss of free ponies. And in other news…

  5. Since Spain has conservative leaders why hasn’t unemployment and deficits magically disappeared?

    They need to nip taxes a few points. Mitt says that will do it.

    1. I guess “Strawmen R Us” had a two-for-one sale, today?

      1. Tax cuts don’t create jobs, dipshit.

        Tax cuts do reduce tax burdens however. That is the only reason to reduce taxes and is good enough to stand alone.

        1. tax cuts increase govt revenue. It was true when JFK cut them, when Reagan cut them, and when Bush cut them. The only downside is that there is no amount of increased revenue that Congress cannot spend. Maybe we should raise taxes if only to starve govt a bit.

          1. Govt revenue tends to increase whoever is in the White House.

            You tried to cherry-pick and failed.

            The Leviathan is upon us.

            1. revenue spikes when taxes are cut; the evidence is demonstrable empirically.

              1. No it doesn’t.

                Revenue gradually rises no matter the tax rate.

                The profit motive has never rested.

                How little faith you have in greed.

        2. What did Chupacabra say that makes your response sensical? He made a joke about Strawmans R Us and you responded with a straw man. Also, for such a raging capitalist as you are, I don’t see why you would think taking capital away from the private sector would inhibit job creation

          1. I oppose taking capital away from the private sector.

            Talk about a strawman!

            I said tax cuts don’t create jobs and that reducing the tax burden is a fine reason to cut taxes. ALONE!

            Its the wingnut world who tries to find causality in a ridiculous assertion like yours.

        3. Does deficit spending and tax increases create jobs? Spain would be at full employment if that was the case.

    2. Conservatives in Europe are defined by how much they dislike Jews.

      1. How is that different than here?

        1. here it’s liberals, who always side with the Arabs. I’ve lost sympathy for American Jewish voters; when you consistently go against your self-interest, you are tough to support.

          1. Why single out Jews? Everyone who votes for a Democrat or Republican (with a few exceptions) votes against their interests

          2. Progressives do tend to side with the goat-fuckers.

            I am a liberal more in the vein of Hitchens and Maher. We hate all religion.

            1. So you’re a progressive?

      2. Yet another reason why Shrike’s knee jerk opposition to conservatism, to the point that he embraces whatever calls itself liberalism is dumb; the term is meaningless and its ideology totally depends on the context (time, place, etc).

        1. I have no use for progressives.

          1. So you’re a self-loathing progressive then.

    3. They’re not conservative – if anything they’re christian-democrats who are in bed with big business and big banks. You don’t see them defending capitalism.

  6. It wont’ be as funny as when this happens to us, and you know what they say: if you can’t laugh at yourself…

    Try making fun of other people!

    I mean, how do these people protest a bailout? That’s basically what they’re doing.…..lays-says/

    If you ask me, they’d probably be better off without one in the long term, but who the hell gives a drunken sailor more credit without asking him to cut back on the spending?

    It’s a good thing forced austerity could never happen here in the U.S.–since we’re so very precious.

    1. They would be happier if they weren’t in the EU. They could print up a bunch of piestas or whatever funny money they want and buy more free stuff. As they gradually descend into poverty, they could blame others people – maybe the Jews.

      They would be better off with Franco in charge. He would shoot some protesters, make some real spending cuts, and actually fix the mess.

  7. Wait until the austerity actually hits.

    TAX RECEIPTS THROUGH AUGUST FELL 4.6% ON YR, SPAIN DATA SHOW: perhaps their tax collectors were also on strike?
    SPAIN GOVT SPENDING THROUGH AUGUST ROSE 8.9%, BUDGET DATA SHOWS: missed the austerity by just thiiiiiiis much

    They do have 50% youth unemployment and no one in their right mind will lend to them – but the ECB. They just have to squirm a little for those euros.

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