• Spain's news in English

Spain passes tough new 'anti-protest' law

Jessica Jones · 12 Dec 2014, 10:40

Published: 12 Dec 2014 10:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The unpopular law contains retains existing fines of up to €600,000 ($746,000) for unauthorized protests outside buildings "which provide basic services to the community", a definition that encompasses everything from hospitals to universities and the Spanish parliament.  

The new law, which the government argues will ensure public security, also forbids the photographing or filming of police officers in situations where doing so could put them in danger. This could result in a fine of up to €30,000. Showing a "lack of respect" to those in uniform, meanwhile, could lead to a fine of €600. 

The law has been dubbed the 'ley mordaza' or 'gag law' by opposition groups and the Spanish media, many of whom believe the law will curtail individual rights.

It was passed in the lower house of the Spanish parliament on Thursday, despite all parliamentary groups except for the ruling PP voting against the legislation. It will now be reviewed by the Spanish senate where the PP enjoys an overwhelming majority.

Spain's major opposition party, the socialist PSOE, vowed to overturn the legislation if they reclaim power in general elections set for late 2015.   

The eventual vote was 181 for and 141 against and was met with protests from opposition politicians. 

Seven MPs from the left.wing IU party had to be asked twice to take off white gags that they had taped over their mouths to express their clear rejection of the draft law, while members of the Solfónica choir, connected to Spain's indignant protest movement, burst into a rousing rendition of 'Do you hear the people sing' from the musical Les Misérables.

Protesters in the gallery of the Spanish parliament belt out a rendition of 'Do you hear the people sing'? from Les Misérables on Thursday. 

Story continues below…

Spain's new Citizen Security Law also contains tough new measures to deal with the increasing number of immigrants trying to cross the border of Spain’s two North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. 

Under an amendment recently added to the legislation, Spanish authorities will be able to instantly deport migrants who illegally enter Spain by clambering over the border fences from Morocco into Ceuta and Melilla.

Spain has been internationally criticized in recent months for its treatment of migrants in the two Spanish enclaves, with critics saying the return of immigrants to Morocco once they have already crossed into Spain flouts both international and EU laws.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available