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15-M : 2 Years on

By The Equalizer - Sat 4th May 2013

This time 2 years ago nobody had heard of “Los Indignados”.

The words “Puerto del Sol” would probably mean nothing more than being the name of a station on the Madrid Metro.

That all changed on the morning of the 15th of May 2011 when thousands of demonstrators converged on the Plaza del sol in central Madrid in protest over rising unemployment, and increasing austerity measures, coupled with the Government’s inability to deal with the crisis.

Despite claiming a victory in the press, it was impossible to imagine the extent that the movement would shape Spain until the following weekend – 22nd of May – when the country went to the polls to vote in the local elections.

The result was a landslide victory for the Partido Popular.

Out of the 8112 municipalities in Spain, the PP took 3,317 Town Halls, with the PSOE managing just 1,860. The remaining Town Halls went to a variety of local and /or Independent parties.

In terms of the number of votes being placed on a local level, the PP received 8,474,031 and the PSOE 6.276,087.

The total number of votes placed overall was 22,971,350, with 11,710,862 abstentions, 389,506 Nullified votes and 584'012 Blank votes.

If anything, Los Indignados had helped to influence the electorate to such an extent that they were either actively voted against the ruling PSOE party on a local level, or were so disenchanted with the political system overall that they abstained from voting.

Of course, it is true that Spain is perhaps in a worse state today than it was 2 years ago, and that as such the movement achieved nothing. However, what is difficult to deny is this : M15 was probably the first time in Spain’s return to Democracy that the people mobilised in such a way to show their discontent.

It would be difficult too, to deny that the recent spate of corruption scandals being reported in Spain would have come to light if the public had not made this stance in the first place.

Recommended Reading

Los Indignados return home
PP Surge further ahead in opinion polls
While the International media is busy looking the other way ...
Local Elections in Spain

Comment on this Blog

"Power to the People"...
S Shaw - Sat, 4th May 2013

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