Spain's 'indignant' protesters hit streets on election eve

19th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's "indignant" protesters took to the streets Saturday on the eve of a general election which opinion polls show the conservative Popular Party will win by a landslide.

Dozens of "indignants" gathered at Madrid's Puerta de Sol square, the birthplace of the movement, to discuss the elections on a day when political campaigning is banned.

They plan to stage several events, including the recreation of a home foreclosure and the reading of an "open letter" to Spain's next prime minister.

"Indignant" activists also gathered at Barcelona's Plaza de Catalunya as well as in the northern city of Valladolid.

"We are taking steps backwards. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to change course," said Angeles Espinosa, a 48-year-old manager, at Puerta del Sol.

"But what we see is that tomorrow the majority of Spaniards are going to elect a new head of the government who is nothing more than a lamb who is going to lead us to the mouth of the wolf."

Polls show the Popular Party led by Mariano Rajoy will win an absolute majority in parliament, defeating the Socialists whose popularity has been hurt by an economic crisis that has left nearly five million people unemployed.

Rajoy has vowed to make cuts "everywhere", except for pensions, so as to meet Spain's target of cutting the public deficit to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 9.3 percent last year.

Spain's "indignant" protest movement was born when thousands of people set up camp at the Puerta del Sol ahead of May 22 municipal elections to vent anger over the high jobless rate, corrupt politicians and government policies which they say favour big business and banks over ordinary people.

© 2011 AFP

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