Home » Madrid: Ex-pat Experiences & Thoughts » The General Strike and Madrid

The General Strike and Madrid


Images of Madrid’ General Strike

14th November marks the General Strike here in Madrid.

Protesters gathered together this morning in Puerta del Sol, and soon moved through the city.

Here many places of business are closed especially those related to Industry. Thousands upon thousands have taken to the street to protest against Anti Austerity measures being imposed by the Government.

I am seeing reports of people being arrested (81 so far), and many have been injured, as Police use rubber bullets against protesters to quell the storm that has infused the city of Madrid.

Police Tackle The Protesters

From my apartment I can hear the constant circling of Police helicopters; never a good sign.

The momentum of the protesters has been building for months. One notable protest/ strike was that carried out by the Miners outside The Real Madrid Stadium, which my parents who were visiting me at the time actually witnessed. The clash of protesters and Police was significantly violent, though that is not always the case with protests here in Madrid.

The Miners Strike in Madrid

This week though the pressure has mounted as one tragedy hit the news to poignantly highlight the stress, and strain people are under. A young woman actually took her own life by jumping from her own apartment building, because bailiffs entered her apartment to evict her. She could no longer afford her mortgage repayments and was so desperate she committed suicide.

It seems to be utter madness, yet this strike fever has swept Europe, the UK also being involved.

Why, well put simply the workers are fed up of austerity measures being imposed on the ordinary working person by a Government, and banking system that has failed them. Imprecise and elusive policies which are not being fully explained to the public, and cuts, cuts and more cuts to vital social services and wages.

We can only wait and see what the next steps will be by the Spanish Government and the protesters.

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© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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11 thoughts on “The General Strike and Madrid

  1. Hi thanks for posting! Are there some articles/videos you could recommend that ACCURATELY talk about this? In other words, without a strong Western bias, etc. I know I have google at my disposal but I want to see what you or anyone else viewing this may suggest.

    Many thanks!

    -Paul

    • Hi, many thanks for your comment, and also your interest in this topic.

      I understand what you mean, and I feel the same about the news. It is often twisted to suit the narrators, and the audience it caters for.

      Anyway, here are some reliable links for your perusal:

      This is an English version of the National newspaper here in Spain:
      http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/11/14/inenglish/1352898133_060943.html

      The Guradian a UK ‘broadsheet’ newspaper:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/14/european-strikes-who-protesting-why

      One of the Unions involved in the strike:
      http://www.ccoo.es/csccoo/menu.d

      Hope you enjoy them?! let me know if you have any further thoughts on this please, I would be interested.

      Many thanks again, take care.
      Bex 🙂

      • Perfect, thank you so much. I will check these links out and get back to you with some of of my thoughts. This is exactly what I was hoping you might provide me with so thank YOU!

        But even before I do my research, I would like to put some preliminary thoughts out there if I may:

        What concerns me the most is yet another instance of “the people” taking the hit for something they are largely not even responsible for. WHY must the people suffer – for something that is not even of their doing?!?!?!

        That is my main reaction from my limited understanding of what is going on.

        I’ll be back with more!

        Take care,

        -Paul

        • No problems Paul. Thanks for the thanks though, I appreciate it 🙂

          Hope you find the information the links provide of interest.

          I agree with your initial concerns. Unfortunately this seems to be classic repetition which applies from country to country, and Government to Government. The public who should be represented aren’t. Its like politics and even economics has become a separate identity from the ‘community’ they were created for.

          I have been writing quite a few posts about in injustices of politics recently. If you wish take a look, here are some links to my posts:
          Poverty In The UK

          AND

          The Untouchables

          AND

          Poverty In The 21st Century

          I’ll look forward to hearing more from you soon, once you’ve had time to do some extra research!

          Take care,
          Bex

  2. My heart goes out to the protesters who are in an impossible situation. Austerity will not work. There are no easy answers to Europe’s problems but defaulting on the debt at least lets the bankers and their shareholders take most of the hit. Right now ordinary citizens are the only ones paying the price of economic incompetence.

    • Hi Malcolm,

      Thanks for your comment; I completely agree with what you have written.
      It is a difficult situation, with it seems like there are only difficult solutions; yet, hopefully that won’t be the case forever. I can’t see a default occurring, although the Spanish people are pushing for that. Hopefully the Government will listen, but here, they haven’t so far.

      Thanks once again,
      Bex

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