Anti-Austerity Protests Return To Spain

Tyler Durden's picture

In two weeks the Greek economy will once again suffer the consequences of European indentured servitude when it two main labor unions will grind the system to a halt with a general strike against planned austerity measures on September 26. Spain, however, can't wait, and is already out in the streets (video of today's protest can be found at BBC). From Al Jazeera: "Thousands of Spanish anti-austerity protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid to rally against government cuts aimed at cutting the public deficit. The demonstrators assembled in groups at noon on Saturday along the central streets of the capital city in a protest against spending cuts and tax rises. The developments came as Luis de Guindos, economy minister, said that Spain's borrowing costs still do not reflect the country's economic and fiscal adjustment, despite their recent easing." The key word uttered that makes this whole protest a moot point: "referendum" - silly Europeans don't seem to get quite yet that Democracy has been dead for decades, supplanted by kleptofascist globalization with just enough handouts for the lower and middle classes (usually in terms of welfare promises) to keep everyone happy. Actually make that silly Americans and Asians too.

The irony in all this of course is that this makes the circle of chaos in Spain is complete. On one hand people are protesting wage cuts; on the other Spain itself is insolvent as priced in by the market which anticipates Spain will eventually request a rescue by the ECB in turn sending its bonds lower; on the third hand Rajoy has now made it clear as long as Spanish bonds are cheap he will not request a bailout; on the fourth hand, the recent action by the Fed appears to have finally broken the hope trade with Spanish bonds sliding even as the IBEX ripped meaning very soon not only will Spain run out of cash, but even assuming Rajoy requests a bailout which he will once SPGBs hit 8%, rates will likely resume rising. 

From Al Jazeera:

Over 1,000 buses ferried people to Madrid for the protest, which was co-ordinated by two of Spain's leading trade unions, CCOO and UGT, along with roughly 150 smaller organisations.

The head of the UGT, Candido Mendez, said Spanish people should be given the chance "to clearly say whether they are in agreement or not" with the spending cuts.

"It is not inevitable that that the markets govern us, that Spain gets a bailout for its economy," he said.

Demonstrators vented their frustrations by holding aloft banners with slogans such as "Let's go! They are ruining the country and will have to pay for it."

Many wore different coloured T-shirts to represent their profession: teachers wore green; health-care workers were in white; public administration workers in black.

By mid-morning several major roads had been blocked as buses unloaded protesters at 10 rendezvous points from which marches began.

The government said it expected more than half a million people to reach Christopher Columbus Square where union leaders are to deliver speeches.

Tying it all together is the recent revelation that despite protests,
Europe, Spain included, never really experienced "austerity" - Spanish
demonstrators may well be angry at sliding wages, at a collapsing housing market, and other inevitable outcomes of mean reversion, but it is not due
to a slower pace of debt accumulation (and certainly not due to a decline in debt). If protestors want to voice their displeasure with politician ineptitude, and the pervasive government sector, which is the
true cause for their plight, go ahead and do so, best in election format, but don't for a minute
think it has anything to do with austerity and prudent fiscal behavior.

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LULZBank's picture

Someone.. quick.. make a video offending Ugandans.. Bitchezz!!!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Other than the ALCOA strike, all is quiet in Italy.

Michael's picture

The Anti-International Banking Cartel Protests Return to Spain.

There, fixed the headline for ya.

Sofa King Confused's picture

There is only one way out of this for Spain and all other countries.  REVOLUTION BITCHEZ!!!!

LULZBank's picture

Yes but in a peaceful way.

You go out and walk down the streets holding plycards and occasionally shouting stuff like "Shame on you" (this is known to hurt the criminals real bad) or "the whole world is watching" (the criminals immediately fall to their knees and apologise upon hearing this).

Have mild scuffles with riot police when they push you around and then get kettled, baton charged and pepper sprayed and look for whore media representatives to hear your crybaby stories.

Then you get exhaused and go home and deal with your shit. This is the civilised way of bringing about a change. Ask any of the mafia victims, they can vouch for the effectiveness of this strategy.

AldousHuxley's picture

Many are misinformed  about so called lazy Europeans.


Spanish debt % to GDP skyrocketed AFTER government bailed out banks.


Protest is just. Yes there many be some union workers getting more than they deserve, but 30,000 mining union workers are not the reason debt to gdp DOUBLED.


It is due to socialization of private debt.

Government bought private banking debt to bail out banksters.

Government now cutting social programs to pay for that.

That's Austerity folks.


Anyone for austerity is for bank bailouts.


Jungle Jim's picture

I have a Portuguese pen-pal who boasts of his participation in these anti-austerity demonstrations, and who seems to think that Keynsianism is the answer, and that Portugal needs more of that. Lots more. On some instinctive level I think he's mistaken, but I don't know how to articulate it.

Somewhere along the way I have picked up the idea that Iceland found a better answer. Did it? From what I can gather, Iceland neither bailed out the banks nor instituted keynsian measures. They found some "third way."

Anyway, what should I say to this guy in Portugal? Or is he right after all? Should I just agree with him, or just keep quiet?

Reptil's picture

"Austerity/Bank Baliouts" and "Social Democracy and it's safety net in society" are two completely SEPERATE things.

It's been a huge success of the banksters in Europe, to confuse good willing or just self-centered socialists AND right wing people that this is the same issue. Transferring the private held debt to public accounts never worked, but they've tried it again. It has NOTHING to do with Keynes, with Conservative ideas, nothing, but both try to get something out of a bad situation, opportunists as these ppl. naturally are. This portugese friend of yours is confused, his focus not in the right place. I know, I have some spanish and portugese friends and it's infuriating that I can't get the bigger picture through their thick skulls:

It's simply theft, facillitated by corrupt politicians that betrayed their people. The politicians are seperated by their own interests (and nothing else) or their party's. However, the corruption is on such a high level, and on such a massive scale that it threatens the souverign states, and so is becoming for europa-centrist politicians. They'll be tricked in turn because a united europe, governed from Brussels top down will just be a province of the NWO.

Solution? The politicians that are now STILL not correcting the "Mistake of 2008" have to go, alongside the financial system. The conservatives campaigned on not doing cuts, but they lied. THEY BROKE THE SOCIAL CONTRACT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE and now have positioned themselves against the people. Only after this purge, the pros and cons of social-democracy can be discussed in earnest.

If not, all portugese, and spanish will be debt slaves, working the fields, mines, or if they're lucky serving the elite of the world when they visit the Costa's. WORSE than Franco, or Estado novo and Salazar, since it will be faceless and brutal. Tell him that they want him dead. Protest marches are better than nothing, but also tell him none of those reach the other people in europe, since information streams in the regular media are controlled. So who are they showing their discontent? The bankers? LOL

tenpanhandle's picture

socialism at its finest...gimme, gimme, gimme...what, you want it back?

AldousHuxley's picture

so you want to bailout banksters and pay it with austerity for workers?


you don't work for a living or something?


Zero Debt's picture

Lots of people in Spain who were not working in banks made profits on the property boom. Don't pretend they don't exist.

Reptil's picture

That is true, but it's not the whole soceity that raked in the benefits. Just a small group that took ridiculous risk.

machineh's picture

Ayyy ... is that 'la conchuda de Kristina' in your avatar? ;-)

Fela_Kuti's picture

Well, let's see those tidy urban clasemierda wrest control from the peronchos first... Fancy a gronchos vs chetos fight to the death?

AurorusBorealus's picture

There is another side to the protests in Argentina... one that you do not see in Europe or the United States.  Nearly 1/2 a million Christian souls have joined together in prayer and fasting every day for 40 days to pray for their nation.  I would recommend this course of action for the whole of the West.

Abitdodgie's picture

Nothing will change untill they take guns with them.

Michael's picture

That's the way it will be in The United States of America when the Tea Party and Occupy Movements march on Washington D.C.

Harbanger's picture

The Occupy movement is a joke from the leftists.

john39's picture

maybe some of them... but if you can't pull your head out out of the left vs. right mind control trap and see that the central banks and big finance (wallstreet) are literally stealing from the masses, you are screwed.

Harbanger's picture

The Federal Reserve Act of December 23, 1913, was part and parcel of the wave of Progressive legislation on local, state, and federal levels of government that began about 1900.  Progressivism transformed the American economy and society from one of roughly laissez-faire to one of centralized statism. 

Citxmech's picture

Oh sure, because JP Morgan was such a pillar of the left.

Harbanger's picture

You sound surprised? The Morgans and Rockefellers were early American progressives.  Read some history (not the modern rewritten history you got in school) on the American progressive era.

Henry Hub's picture


Too moronic to comment on.

AldousHuxley's picture

definition of liberal, conservative, left, right, democrat, republican, terrorist, favored trade partner CHANGE ALL THE TIME.


If I were a king, I'd want my slaves to love farm work, hate other countries, hate any threat to power.


Read the entire history.....full of ignorant masses pulling others down to support the miserable regime.

TDoS's picture

Occupy freaks out people in the mainstream because they are not a party and they do not seek to rule.  The seek to awaken people so they will cease to be rulable  

tenpanhandle's picture

occupy was a big puppet show, but the puppets got ugly and splattered shit all over their handlers...end of show.

AldousHuxley's picture

which political party did America's founders belong to?


you don't need party membership to know what is fair and what is rape.

you don't need party membership to protest against injustice...unless you live in one party state...heck they even let Chinese peasants protest. you want americans to just shut the fuck up and bail out banksters with your children's blood?



onyl fault of occupy wall st. is that they didn't do enough. They should have just armed themselves and finish off the banksters and politicians.

RockyRacoon's picture

Just because they're not on the streets doesn't mean they are inactive:

It looks like Occupy has moved beyond the hippies camping out in the park.  
A good sign that there could be a quiet revolution in the making.

"The anniversary of Occupy Wall Street is September 17. While there will be public events in New York, it’s likely that number of people that will be involved will not be large enough to impress the punditocracy (multi-citi militarized crackdowns have a way of discouraging participation), leading them to declare OWS a flash in the pan.
That conclusion may be premature.
The release of the The Debt Resistors’ Manual suggests something very different: that the movement is still alive, if much less visible, and is developing new avenues for having impact. This guide is designed not only to give individuals advice for how to be more effective in dealing with lenders but also sets forth some larger-scale ideas. This is a project of a new OWS group, Strike Debt. Fighting for debt renegotiation and restructuring, something that the bank-boosting legacy parties have refused to do, is becoming a new focus for OWS efforts.
Quite a few well qualified people who in Occupy fashion are going unnamed, participated in developing this manual. Having read most of the chapters in full and skimmed the rest, I find that this guide achieves the difficult feat of giving people in various types of debt an overview of their situation, including political issues, and practical suggestions in clear, layperson-friendly language. For instance, the chapter on credit ratings gives step-by-step directions as to how to find and challenge errors in your credit records, and what sort of timetable and process is realistic for getting results. The chapter on dealing with debt collectors is similarly specific and detailed. The discussion of the bankruptcy process includes this section:

One detailed law study found that bankruptcy laws, specifically Chapter 13, implicitly favor a certain profile, an “ideal debtor,” who is usually white and married. Most bankruptcy laws tend to favor wealth over income, ownership over renting, formal dependents over informal dependents and heterosexual married couples, all of which have significantly higher rates in white communities. Before 2005, African Americans filed for Chapter 13 nearly 50% of the time, compared to less than 25% by whites. Why, you may ask? Here’s one explanation: a study found that when all other factors are equalized (identical financial cases), lawyers are twice as likely to steer Black clients toward Chapter 13 than they are white clients. The study could find no other cause besides racism in all forms: conscious, unconscious, structural and institutional.

The manual also includes two chapters on “fringe finance”, meaning financial services for the barely banked or underbanked, including check cashing outlets, prepaid cards, payday lenders, and pawn shops. It stresses that these are tantamount to a poverty tax, since low income people pay more for these services.
Each chapter has a list of resources at the end, including websites, articles and books, as well as footnotes. Some end with ideas for collective action, others with survival strategies. And it presents a manifesto:

We gave the banks the power to create money because they promised to use it to help us live healthier and more prosperous lives—not to turn us into frightened peons. They broke that promise. We are under no moral obligation to keep our promises to liars and thieves. In fact, we are morally obligated to find a way to stop this system rather than continuing to perpetuate it.
This collective act of resistance may be the only way of salvaging democracy because the campaign to plunge the world into debt is a calculated attack on the very possibility of democracy. It is an assault on our homes, our families, our communities and on the planet’s fragile ecosystems—all of which are being destroyed by endless production to pay back creditors who have done nothing to earn the wealth they demand we make for them.
To the financial establishment of the world, we have only one thing to say: We owe you nothing. To our friends, our families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything. Every dollar we take from a fraudulent subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we withhold from the collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities, to those we love and we respect. These are acts of debt resistance, which come in many other forms as well: fighting for free education and healthcare, defending a foreclosed home, demanding higher wages and providing mutual aid."

You can download the manual here


StychoKiller's picture

Ya wanna fight the System, yet you also want free education and healthcare.  Seems like having your cake and eating it too!

RockyRacoon's picture

You're assuming that Occupy is a monolithic entity and "wants" something... and you're wrong on both counts.

roadhazard's picture

Right wingers think OWS should be protesting in front of the WH instead of Wall Street... because it's All Obama's fault, just ask them. Some people you just can't reach.

tickhound's picture

Yeah the rationalization is some funny shit.  Equally amusing are the lefties assuming "it is only natural" that the protests target Wall Street... since Obama hates the banks, just ask them.  Useful idiots on both flanks.

roadhazard's picture

Obama, as all Presidents do there Masters bidding. Shriley you don't believe for a minute that BushCo was smart enough to be a leader. lol Shirley you don't believe that Wall Street/Banks are not running this country. Shriley you don't believe that the Right Wing and I say Right Wing because that is all that is left of the repubican Party is Any less culpable in all of this as any other entity.


gojam's picture

This crisis has more hands than a Hindu god............

Rainman's picture

I'm pretty sure 25% jobless and idle minds become the devil's workshop.

AurorusBorealus's picture

The West is going to discover why it is a very bad idea to have large numbers of young men unemployed in an age of rising food prices.  The Arabs have already discovered this.  Old people do not overthrow governments... angry, young men do.

djsmps's picture

The Spanish people wouldn't do this. It must be the work of Al Qaeda.

LULZBank's picture

Spain and North Africa have history old trade and traffic. They must've got some of the barbaric blood in them, damned protesting loonies.

They should all go and try to work harder like Northeners and develop into an export oriented economy.

Floodmaster's picture

The State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. These people are the main cause of the poverty, they should be ashamed of themselves.

LULZBank's picture

Sorry, we're all out of tin foil hats.

CunnyFunt's picture

Danos nuestros medicamentos, hombre.

Harbanger's picture

"Over 1,000 buses ferried people to Madrid for the protest, which was co-ordinated by two of Spain's leading trade unions..."

Creating the impression of public support by paying people to pretend to be supportive.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

People in the street don't mean what ZH means by 'austerity' - One shouldn't try to impose professional-technical definitions on working people who have their own language for getting a handle on things.

It is similar to the 'inflation' double meaning (technical money supply or real-life price increases).

For real people, austerity is not the 'technical' issue of whether public or total societal debt has dimished.

'Austerity' is cuts to the benefits, pensions, jobs and lives of working class or poorer people ... which can quite happen even as total government and societal debt is increasing due to corrupt bank bailouts.

Austerity will start taking Mediterranean countries out of the EU, and put the whole EU project into reverse ...

Let the people call it what they like. I like their definition better than the 'technical' one.


LULZBank's picture

Seems like you did'nt get the memo.

If it happens in Middle East, its due to some religious protest against something offensive otherwise people over there are all living life of comfort and bliss.

If it happens in Southern EU, its against the austerity measures, not against unemployment and price inflations and wage deflations. People are only protesting against the EU policies not against the aftermath of EU stupidity.

If it happens in London, they are called "riots," usually started by coloured people involved in drug dealings, who are otherwise livin' it large and all wear Nike's and sip Crystal.

In USA... well in US of A they just dont happen. Its just like a trend like you go to OWS and then have coffee at Starbucks...

In central Africa.. its just one tribe with a strange name going bloodthirsty for another tribe with a funny sounding name for apparently no reason at all, unless they are Islamic.

fonzannoon's picture

there is some anti US stuff happening in Australia.