Riot police quell violent education protests
18 November 2005, BARCELONA — Riot police arrested 44 students after violent protests against the government's education reforms in Barcelona.
18 November 2005
BARCELONA — Riot police arrested 44 students after violent protests against the government's education reforms in Barcelona.
Students starting hurling objects at the government buildings in the city.
March organisers claimed school students started the trouble which led to the arrests.
The students claim education reforms will lead to the privatisation of the university system.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and conservative groups, which are opposing the proposed education law, said they were hopeful the government would make some concessions after a meeting with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The prime minister held talks with campaigners who staged a huge protest march against the bill last Saturday.
Their main objections are to plans to make religious studies an optional instead of compulsory subject, the ability of parents to choose their child's school and the financing of Catholic Church schools.
Government sources said Zapatero was willing to make some compromises but the reform, which has entered the Spanish parliament's upper house or Congress, "will not be withdrawn".
Luis Carbonell, president of the Catholic parents association, said: "We're willing to give some leeway to the prime minister because everyone deserves a second chance."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news