This is a video about the big anti-austerity demonstration today in Barcelona.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Spain says no to vicious labour laws
Sunday 11 March 2012
by Our Foreign Desk
Hundreds of thousands of people in 60 cities across Spain took part in demonstrations today called by the country’s main trade unions to protest against the government’s attack on labour rights and the welfare state.
The rallies were held under the slogan “No to the futile, ineffective and unfair labour reform.”
They are the unions’ first trial of strength before a general strike called for March 29 to oppose the recently approved reforms and austerity measures.
Protesters hoisted red flags and chanted slogans such as “No bread, no peace,” and “Labour reform, legal violence.”
The largest rallies were mounted in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao and Vigo.
Most were preceded by remembrance ceremonies that marked the eighth anniversary of the March 11 2004 bombings that killed 191 people on Madrid’s rail system.
The reforms, passed by decree last month and approved in Parliament on Thursday, slash the cost of firing workers and ease conditions under which they can be dismissed – supposedly to reduce the country’s crippling unemployment.
They also enable bosses to wriggle out of sector-wide or country-wide union collective wage agreements.
The leaders of communist-aligned CCOO and the socialist UGT, who jointly called the stoppage and today’s rallies, met before the Madrid march to call on the government to negotiate over the introduction of the “drastic” reforms.
Ignacio Fernandez Toxo and Candido Mendez advised the government to “be wary” because working people are adamant that the labour reform must be modified and will not be cowed.
Spain: ‘Books not truncheons’ — students protest education cuts: here.
Hungary: Seven thousand trade unionists and democrats rallied in Budapest’s Kossuth Square on Saturday to call for a “new republic” with a progressive tax system, free higher education and a directly elected premier: here.
Hundreds of people rallied in central Madrid on Saturday to express their opposition to a US billionaire’s plan to build a vast gambling complex called Eurovegas in the city: here.
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: “I’ve always viewed Spain, not Greece, as the quintessential euro crisis country. With Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government balking – rightly – at further austerity, the focus is now where it arguably should have been all along. And with Spain now front and center, the essential wrongness of the whole European policy focus becomes totally apparent. Spain did not get into this crisis by being fiscally irresponsible; see the little comparison on the chart on this page”: here.
Two months ago almost to the day Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy was caught telling other EU leaders that his labour reform plan “is going to cost me a general strike.” Well, if he’s been wrong on most things since being elected in a landslide victory over the Socialists in November last year, he’s right on this one: here.