30 Apr, 2013 @ 14:18
1 min read

Spanish director predicts Mayday mayhem

Madrid protests e

POLICE are braced for rioting around the country with thousands expected to take to the streets for anti-austerity Mayday protests tomorrow.

On the same day last year, thousands marched – largely peacefully – through Madrid and Barcelona to rally against increasing austerity measures.

But this year the mood has turned more angry as increasing numbers of young Spaniards, in particular, are out of work.

All police leave has been cancelled and there will be thousands of extra officers on the beat.

The likelihood for unrest has increased, claims Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodovar.

“I think the country as a whole is worried about social unrest breaking out. I certainly am,” said the popular director.

“Every day that goes by, I get the impression that there is further provocation.

“I’d invite everyone to react, but in the most peaceful way possible,” he added

The news comes after police arrested 15 demonstrators following protests turned violent outside parliament last week.

Around 1,000 protestors gathered on the streets of the capital to call for the government to step down.

The violence erupted when demonstrators pulled down barriers and police charged with batons and fired blanks in the air.

Some 1,400 police had been deployed in anticipation of trouble and politicians cancelled the session for the day.

The demonstration follows the release of official figures showing the country’s unemployment rate has hit a record high.

The number of people without jobs has topped the six million mark for the first time, with the unemployment rate soaring to 27.2%.

This figure rises to 38% in Andalucia and over 40% in various provinces including Cadiz and Jaen.

Among young people from 16 to 24, the rate rises to over 57%. This figure climbs considerably higher in Andalucia.

The government has launched a raft of financial and labour reforms to reduce the swollen deficit, and has pursued a series of spending cuts and tax increases. 

But in 2012, Spain still had the highest budget deficit among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, with critics blaming the government for stifling economic growth.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. If they can be bothered ! It will have to be fitted in between the 11am second breakfast and the 2pm siesta., though I suppose they might resume after 5, if the weather is OK.

  2. As usual it’s the poor Police that suffer. Get their holiday and rest day cancelled so they can be violently assaulted by an angry mob.

    Poor devils. It’ll be horrific.

  3. “I wonder how long it will be before empty ex-pat houses are targeted by the really desperate?”

    This has already been reported. Squatting and burglaries are now very common in such properties. The police have no resources to halt or intervene. The government has totally lost the plot.

  4. @Rick
    Actually in the Alicante region the Gitanos are at it wholesale. They don’t move in the just remove the windows, the doors, anything made of metal which they can sell, There is an ex- SPA hotel which they have stripped down to the brickworks. Its amazing to watch. un-occupied properties become shells. I think that I would prefer squatters moving in and living there rather than having my property stripped.
    Anyway with over 2 million empty properties available in Spain I don’t think that the empty expat properties will have much problems,.
    Perhaps they could rent them out……at a reasonable rent to people who could afford such, instead of leaving them empty or charging ridiculously high rentals.
    Property values are due to fall by at least another 20% within the near future, but still I keep on seeing idiots trying to sell their properties at pre – crisis levels.

  5. Unemployed or unemployable?

    The new coming of age for Spanish youngsters has moved up from 21 to 30 years old as the stop-at-home, spoilt little “Princess” are still cossetted by Mummy after the bank’s sponsored brief cloud-cuckoo-cloud spending spree fooled hem that they were wealthy people living in Paradise.

    South Americans and Romanians still find work as “austerity” becomes the new normal with worst to come.
    Many are suffering, including me, get used to it there is no magic wand that will change a thing!

    Now wait for the Module 720 inspired bank raid …
    Meanwhile Pedro Almodovar should stick to making movies!

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