Thousands of Spaniards, both young and not-so young, have had enough of the Spanish political class and are making their feelings known.
In over 70 Spanish cities, as well as outside Spanish embassies in Europe, namely London and Berlin, Spaniards are saying Basta Ya! (enough is enough).
This popular manifestation of discontent, which started in Madrid and Granada, is apolitical, even though the Spanish right-wing opposition party is trying to claim that the left is behind it. This is not true, because the people are infuriated by the puerile antics of both major parties, who spend so much time criticising one another for the very same things that they do themselves.
Also, very interestingly, this popular and spontaneous movement is coinciding with local and regional elections and in some cities the powers that be are trying to forbid these peaceful demonstrations, but to no avail, with the police unable to cope with such large numbers and unwilling to intervene and risk turning a massive popular and peaceful demonstration into chaos.
As the days go by, those camped out in the public squares are more and more organised, with locals offering food, doctors offering their services, local restaurants and supermarkets donating food and even, in the case of Madrid, with one company supplying portable toilets, free of charge!
The political class is nervous because the 22nd of May should have been their moment (local elections) but they are seeing that there is a growing trend to virtually ignore them.
Mariano Rajoy (conservative opposition) claimed today that it is normal with so many people without jobs, completely ignoring that it is more about the lamentable behaviour of his party and the governing one.
Perhaps the reason that this European backlash to the crisis broke out in Spain is because the Spanish political class took a country, anxious for democratic freedom in 1975, with the death of Franco, and in just a few years have so disillusioned the Spanish electorate that people have lost faith. What is the point of voting, many ask themselves, which is why the abstention figures grow with every new election.
With corruption scandal after corruption scandal and with politicians from both sides of the political spectrum imputed in criminal activities the Spanish have reached their limit, perhaps.
In other countries when a politician is suspected of dirty dealings, he steps down until his name is cleared; not here in Spain and Francisco Camps is a prime example. Sr. Camps, who is the First Minister of the Regional Government of Valencia, is not only under investigation, but the judge has considered that there is sufficient indication of illegal activity as to impute him and he is now pending trial. Yet, the man is standing for re-election on the 22nd of May, fully supported by the leader of the national party, Mariano Rajoy.
And the socialist are no ‘cleaner.’
As far as the protests go, feelings are growing stronger and it certainly doesn’t look as if it will end on the 22nd of May – the problem is not going to go away. The trouble is that Saturday the 21st is the Day of Reflection, when it is forbidden by law to campaign, so what will be done about the thousands that are camping out in public squares across the country, calling for people to either boycott both major parties or not vote at all?