Spain wants to curb protests at national day parade
Spain's defence minister said Wednesday she wants to make changes to curb protests at the national day military parade, after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was jeered at the event for the fifth year in a row.
Some members of the crowd whistled and cried "Zapatero resign!" Tuesday as the prime minister stood at a podium beside other politicians and members of the royal family during the parade through the streets of the Spanish capital.
The popularity of Zapatero's Socialist Party, in power since 2004, has slipped over the past year due to the introduction of tough austerity measures to revive the economy and slash the public deficit.
Defence Minister Carme Chacon, who was also at the annual event, said the protesters had "disrespected" the armed forces taking part in the parade.
She said she would meet with members of all political parties with representation in parliament to change the protocol of the event to make it harder for such protests to take place in the future.
"These protest groups have 364 days a year to express their unhappiness. If you want to show your displeasure on October 12th, have the courage to call a demonstration but do not disturb a national holiday which is a party for everyone," the minister said.
Chacon did not elaborate on what changes to the national day parade protocol could be made.
Support for Zapatero's ruling Socialists has slid to 29.4 percent in October from 38 percent during the same month last year, a poll published Monday in centre-left daily newspaper Publico on Monday showed.
The vast majority, 84.1 percent, of those surveyed said they had "little" or "no" trust in Zapatero, up from 73.1 percent in October 2009.
© 2010 AFP