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Spanish Youth 'Fed Up' With Govt. Policies

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TEHRAN, May 22 (ICANA) – Thousands of Spaniards remain camped out in squares across the country to protest at the government's economic policies.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 9:08:15 PM
Spanish Youth 'Fed Up' With Govt. Policies

Press TV interviews Sonia Labboun, journalist and correspondent in Spain, about the demands of protesters as well as the similarities between protests in Spain and those occurring in North Africa and the Middle East.

Following is a transcript of the interview.

Q: Sonia, you've been on the streets today in Madrid and talking to the people on the streets. What is the sense you get from what they are saying? Are they demonstrating on certain policies or totally dissatisfied with their government? Tell me the feeling on the ground.

Labboun: On the ground there was one sentence that came up all the time, it was “We are fed up!” It's not only youngsters; there are also their fathers and grandfathers with them. They are saying that the whole system has to be changed.

When I say the whole system it is not only about the electoral system. In Spain for some years now some bubbles have been created like the housing bubble that finally burst and everybody relied on this bubble to create jobs and to create growth and the successive governments knew perfectly that it would collapse sooner or later and they did not prepare a plan B for the population to rely on.

They did not invest in education; they did not invest in other industries. Spain at the end is a country for tourism and construction and so when construction collapsed tourism cannot sustain the whole country.

Q: Talking about the similarities of protests in Spain and protests happening in other parts of the world, do you see a comparison or do you think Spain's situation is very different?

Labboun: The protesters were quite inspired by the uprising in the Arab world and they all admit it. When I talked to youngsters in the city centre, there were even posters about solidarity with the Egyptians and Tunisians.

There are a lot of similarities, why? Because in the Arab world it started because people do not live well - it's not just about lack of democracy. The problem also in Europe, but especially here in Spain, is the same in that if we are represented by only two main parties -- the Social Party and the Popular Party -- the smaller parties even though they have a lot of voters they are not represented in the parliament. So it is the same in that the people are not represented.

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