Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

'Radicals want to ruin Spain's democracy'

Share this article

'Radicals want to ruin Spain's democracy'
Many Spaniards find it hard to believe that such a large police contingent could suffer so much at the hands of a few dozen radical protesters in Madrid on Saturday. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP
11:27 CET+01:00
Spain's head of police has warned there is a "growth in violence" aimed at "destabilizing the rule of law" in Spain, but many Spaniards think his words are a trumped-up "conspiracy" to justify harsher police powers.

Ignacio Cosidó, director general of Spain’s police service, has announced he has “information” on strategies being used by radical protesters to “bait” police officers and then ambush them.

His words came after Saturday’s “March for Dignity” in Madrid, a demonstration in which thousands of Spaniards took part. But a 1,750 strong anti-riot force was somehow left exposed in the face of a 50-strong crowd of violent protesters who smashed windows and threw rocks, injuring 67 police. 

Some 34 protesters were also hurt in the clashes, as police reacted by firing rubber bullets. Police arrested 24 protesters, three of them minors. 

“Violent individuals made it through the filters,” Socialist domestic affairs spokesman Antonio Trevín told Spanish daily El País.
 
“Protesters and police officers both paid the price for this lack of coordination.”
 
The wave of violence was replicated at the capital’s Complutense University, where education-cut protests on Wednesday and Thursday ended in bins being burned and a policeman having to pull out his weapon to protect himself against a group of fifty youths, Spain’s centre-right daily El Mundo reported on Thursday.

Sectors of Spanish society and Spain’s socialist opposition party are partly blaming police chiefs themselves for the violent acts, with images of undercover cops dressed as ‘protesters’ who were putting participants in handcuffs becoming a trending topic on Twitter.

On Wednesday, a police union admitted leaking pictures of weapons to the press which were in fact not used by ‘March for Dignity’ protesters, including a ‘sword-crutch’ and a slingshot.

In light of recent events and the injuries sustained by 70 policemen, Spain’s police chief Ignacio Cosidó wants the country's controversial Security Law to be amended to give greater powers and protection to security personnel.

CHECK OUT TEN SECURITY LAWS THAT ARE SHOCKING SPANIARDS

But many Spaniards find it hard to believe that such a large police contingent could suffer so much at the hands of just a few dozen radical protesters, with some commentators and newspaper like the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post referring to events as a “conspiracy” conjured up by those in power to justify harsh new protest penalties.

They argue legislation that includes €30,000 fines for shouting at policemen or carrying banners with slogans seems tailor-made for the ruling Popular Party’s attempts to silence public displays of citizen discontent against their running of the country.

Spain’s legal watchdog unanimously approved a report on Thursday which finds parts of the PP’s Citizen Security Law “unconstitutional”.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.    

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Healthcare in Spain: What you need to know

Before you grab your castanets and move to Spain, you should really take the time to look into the healthcare system in your new country.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement