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Spain: Costly construction triggers fifth day of protests

Spain: Costly construction triggers fifth day of protests
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There has been a fifth day of protests in the Spanish city of Burgos.

Local residents gathered early on Tuesday morning to stop machine operators from continuing with a construction project that has deeply divided the population.

A revamp of the main thoroughfare will reportedly cost at least eight billion euros – an expense many people in the northern city consider unnecessary at the moment.

“I think that maybe there are things that ought to be changed, but now is not the right time,” explained one protester. “Many people are unemployed and I think there are other, more important things right now.”

Burgos is reportedly in debt to the tune of 500 million euros.

The plans for the thoroughfare include decreasing the road’s size by half and taking away free parking spaces in favour of a new, underground, “pay and display” car park.

Around 40 people were arrested on Friday and Saturday when the protests became violent. Bins were burnt, windows broken and street furniture damaged.

There have been six further arrests since.

A rally on Monday evening attracted up to 5,000 people, while Tuesday’s much calmer demonstration was made up of around 200.

Protesters have called for the city’s mayor, Javier Lacalle, to resign. However he says residents voted in favour of the project in the 2011 local elections.