A tale of two towns

LAST UPDATED: 4 Nov, 2010 @ 17:51
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A tale of two towns

IN the Serrania de Ronda it was business as usual yesterday for some towns, but others were completely shut for the General Strike.

Ronda, a famously right-wing town with a large tourist presence, seemed little affected by the strike with shops and schools remaining open throughout the day.

But the nearby villages of Arriate and El Gastor told a different story.

Everything was shut including the petrol station in Arriate which was taped up and closed for business.

Nearby Sevilla also saw all shops closed for the day.

And in Granada, the famous Alhambra Palace was closed to the public, because of a lack of staff.

Across the rest of the country bus and train services were drastically reduced as protesters targeted transport hubs, and most planes remained grounded.

And the trade unions claim that 70 per cent of workers supported the strike, with 400,000 people taking part in the protest march in Barcelona and several thousand demonstrating in Valencia, making it an “unquestionable success”.

Head of the CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, told a news conference: “I think that there will be few people who doubt the reach of the strike.”

But the government played down the impact with Labour Minister, Celestino Corbacho claiming that in general “Spain was operating normally”.

And overall opinion seems to be that while the strike won far more support than expected, it failed to bring the country to a total standstill and most Spaniards appear resigned to the austerity measures.

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