Spain’s Indignados

Europe News Briefs

At least 20 people, including seven police officers, were injured in clashes between riot police and protesters in Madrid on the night of Aug. 4 when demonstrators were stopped from entering the central square Puerta del Sol, a focus point of anti-government protests.

It was the most serious incident since the movement began on May 15, when thousands of university students began occupying the square, putting up tents and organizing protests against government spending cuts, a worsening economic crisis and a soaring unemployment rate of 21.3 percent – rising to 44.6 percent for the young.

The protest movement, known as “Los Indignados” (the Indignant Ones), is thought to number in the many tens of thousands, with flash demonstrations organised via Facebook and Twitter, taking politicians, unions and the media by surprise.

Although the ruling Socialists announced a plan to help those struggling with high mortgage payments, the party is likely to be defeated in elections next year.

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