24 Jan, 2023 @ 12:37
1 min read

‘Fascists out,’ cry Madrid students over appointment of regional premier as distinguished alumni

Ayuso President Of The Community Of Madrid Speaks About Accusations Of The Pp
Madrid, Spain; 17.02.2022.- Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, appears before the press because the leadership of her party, the Popular Party (PP), headed by Pablo Casado, is investigating whether Ayuso favored her brother in a public contract. Photo: Juan Carlos Rojas

HUNDREDS of students, professors and other staff at Madrid’s Complutense University came out to protest on Tuesday morning against the designation of the regional premier, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, as a distinguished alumni. 

Despite the massive police presence at the centre of learning, with as many as 11 riot vans present, the protestors were able to stage their demonstration, at which they were heard to be shouting ‘Fascists out of the university’, and ‘Long live the healthcare workers’ fight’.

Ayuso, 44 and of the conservative Popular Party (PP), is accused by her critics of neglecting the region’s public services, in particular the healthcare system, which has seen a series of strikes in recent months

She has also promoted a low tax regime in Madrid since coming to power in August 2019. 

A student protestor videos the scene at the Complutense this morning, where National Police officers were out in force.

According to news agency Europa Press, the police were trying to stop the protestors from reaching the assembly point and would only let past students who were carrying their student cards accrediting that they belonged to the Information Science faculty, where the award was due to be given out. 

However, this caused problems for Political Science students who also have classes in the building and were not allowed to pass. 

There were also cries of support for the politician, including ‘Freedom’ and ‘Communists out of the university’. 

The opposing students direct chants at each other in the Complutense University on Tuesday.

The decision by the dean of the Complutense to honour Ayuso prompted a petition in opposition that has attracted more than 1,200 signatures. 

Some professors from the faculty of Information Sciences also wrote a letter to the dean calling on him to revoke his decision. 

‘It is an unacceptable position for the university to take at a time of pre-election campaigning,’ the missive read, in reference to the upcoming regional elections this spring. 

The university also honoured a journalist from the state broadcaster TVE, as well as the author Arturo Pérez Reverte.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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