“La indignación popular en España es síntoma de que la economía europea va en la dirección equivocada”

Philippe Lamberts, co-Presidente del Partido Verde Europeo manifiesta que la mitad elos jóvenes españoles están en paro y que no podemos por más tiempo pedir a los estratos más débiles y empobracidos de la población que se aguanten y que carguen con el esfuerzo contra la crisis. “Llevamos décadas esperando y el cambio profundo es necesario”

The anger of the protestors in Spain shows the European economy is going in the wrong direction

A demonstration on the 15th of May sparked weeks of protests in Spain, with tens of thousands of protesters, mainly young people, marching in the streets and occupying the main squares of Madrid and Barcelona. Much of the momentum came from anger about unemployment and the economic crisis. Spain’s 21.3% unemployment rate is the highest in the EU, 4.9 million people are out of work many of them young people. However there are also other issues at stake, such as corruption, restrictions of freedoms and a general and sharp decrease in the level and quality of democracy.

Attempts by the authorities to “evict” thousands of protestors camped out in city squares, notably in Madrid’s main Puerta del Sol square have ended in arrests and violence. The protesters have adamantly refused to be moved by the so-called “clean-up operations” endorsed by the government.

The “Spanish Revolution,” has inspired similar demonstrations across Europe. In Greece, protests have drawn about 24,000 people to Athens’ central Syntagma square, and on Monday about 30 tents were laid out in the square, as part of a daily gathering that began almost a week ago. In Paris, riot police cleared out the Place de la Bastille on Sunday evening after hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of a popular opera house there.

In a video statement, EGP co-chair Philippe Lamberts said, “We have been expecting for ages that Europeans, especially young Europeans, would stand up, and say “enough!”. And now, inevitably, it has happened, and it’s no surprise that the Spanish have risen first, taking to the streets to say that, basically, the way that we have chosen is not working.”

“Almost half of all Spanish young people are unemployed. This speaks volumes about a system that simply no longer functions, so it’s about time indeed that we change course and that we provide different answers to the crisis that we are undergoing in Europe. We can no longer support responses to the economic crisis, and the euro-zone crisis, that basically are telling the weakest and most vulnerable in society – to wait and to bear the brunt of the crisis and someday things will get better.”

“There’s much talk about making countries more competitive by cutting wages, especially in the south of Europe. But do we really believe that we can win the race to the bottom in terms of labour costs?”

“What is it that will really provide the basis of our economic recovery in Europe? As Greens we believe that a change is essential to meet the challenges of this century, and Europe should be leading the way in making this change.”

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