Thousands of Spaniards have filled the streets of Madrid once more to protest over government austerity measures and the ongoing crisis gripping the country.
But there were few signs of the violence that marred Tuesday night’s rallies.
They left 60 wounded including 27 police officers and led to 35 arrests. Frustration at the country’s increasing economic misery and the apparent failure of the government to put a stop to it, boiled over in bloody clashes.
The resounding call from the crowd on Wednesday was that Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government should go.
Protest leader Celestino Sánchez warned: “Democracy is like a gust of wind, opening doors, opening windows and it will not be stopped by intervention groups (police) coming from wherever.”
Rajoy presents a tough 2013 budget on Thursday, hoping to show Spain is doing its deficit-cutting homework.
Speaking in New York, he insisted protesters did not represent the entire country.
“We can’t see them but they are there,” he said. “They are the vast majority of the 47 million people who live in Spain. The Spanish who are hard at work, who are giving their very best to achieve, as soon as possible, the national goal that concerns us all – getting out of this economic crisis.”
Rajoy’s main goal seems to be avoiding asking for an international bailout because of the strings attached.
But he has admitted to the Wall Street Journal he might have to do so if borrowing costs remain too high for too long.