Protesters in Spain seem to gain momentum ahead of elections

Madrid (CNN) — Protests against Spain’s economic crisis continued for a sixth day on Friday in many cities, just two days before local and regional elections across the nation.

But Spain’s electoral board said late Thursday that the protests, organized largely via social media networks, would be banned on Saturday. That’s supposed to be a “day of reflection” for voters, with no campaigning, before Sunday’s balloting, the board said.

Now the government of the ruling Socialist Party, which polls widely predict will suffer deep losses to the conservatives, must decide whether the police should keep a safe distance, as they did last Wednesday when a demonstration was banned but went ahead anyway, or if they will crack down.

“What we are going to do is comply with the law,” Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told reporters Friday. But he added that the police would not be there to create even more problems than already exist in the streets.

The largest crowds nationwide Friday were in Madrid, where thousands of mostly young demonstrators returned to the central Puerta del Sol plaza late Thursday.

Demonstrators are protesting Spain’s 21% unemployment rate, highest in the euro zone, and a record 4.9 million jobless. The jobless rate for youth is 42%.

Protesters say a plethora of temporary labor contracts offer few or no job benefits. In addition, some are protesting against the political and financial establishment that they say is to blame.

The protests appear to have gained momentum in the closing days of the campaign. They captured much news media coverage, and all major parties have acknowledged them.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in an interview with SER radio on Friday that changes should be decided at the ballot box.

On Sunday, Spain’s 8,000 cities and towns will elect mayors, along with 13 out of 17 regional presidents and parliaments. The results are expected to be a bellwether for national elections due no later than March 2012.


Satan receives a symbolic last hour to make his stand. That hour began when the LOZ arrived to bring great tribulation with the bowls of anger. Satan is resisting making his stand, but he will be forced to follow through. Due to the earth’s circumstances, food will become scarce, and you will not be able to purchase anything without his mark. But that mark will not doom you – only your heart condition can do that.