Thousands protest against spending cuts in Costa Blanca

Moskvich, the Soviet-era car is set to make a return Image CC/Alexander Migl

IN continuing protests across the Costa Blanca, thousands of people took to the streets of Alicante and Benidorm to demonstrate their anger at the cuts in public spending brought on by the crisis.

The main thrust of the protestor’s complaints at the end of last week was the alleged financial mismanagement and waste at the higher political level in the region, for which the average person is now being asked to pay.

To illustrate the alleged mis-spending, a group of some 5,000 people, according to the Unions (1,500 according to the police), marched from Alicante City centre to the film studios known as the City of Light, to the south of the town.

The studios filed for bankruptcy protection two months ago.

“Up to 20 schools and health centres could have been built with the money we have spent on City of Light; a project that has failed miserably,” said a representative from the CCOO Spanish workers union.

Banners were strung out on the studio’s gates, complaining against the cuts being made, mainly in health and education. “We have a terrible situation today in the schools, with cuts in specialist teachers and support staff, where their removal was effected without dialogue and without any communication between management and workers,” said a teacher from Miguel de Cervantes school in Elche.

“No to cuts in public services,” was the general message being pushed. There is now a program of demonstrations planned, with the next major march being on the RENFE station in Alicante.

Terra Mitica was also targeted with a gathering of disgruntled ex employees outside its main entrance last Friday, after the theme parks owners recently announced that over half the staff had had their contracts terminated.

“This theme park is another example of the enormous waste of the PP government.” Said one demonstrator, adding “at least we can get the politicians to look embarrassed.”

In Valencia a claimed 10,000 people demonstrated (according to the organizers) following what they termed a “path of waste”, to protest against the Generaliatat’s overspending on unaffordable projects, and in Castellon, about 5,000 people travelled to the still unused airport, to protest at its cost.

In Alicante hundreds of cars, in a mass convoy, blasted their horns all the way from Plaza Mar shopping centre to the Generalitat building in the centre of the city.

Such demonstrations are set to continue as the crisis deepens, and the wave of discontent gathers pace.

By Paul Deed

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