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Public Unrest Surrounds World Youth Day

Mon 15th Aug 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Madrid for the second time this year in order to attend the Catholic Church World Youth Day.

However, despite the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to attend the various events over the week-long fixture, many groups are less than happy about his arrival.

Over 150 different groups are planning to protest on 17th August, the day before the Pope is due to arrive.

A Major cause of concern is that the cost of the event, which has been put at around 60 Million Euros, is being met bt the government and private sponsors - who have been given significant tax breaks in exchange for their donation - at a time when Spain is struggling to come out of recession.

The Government have defended their position on these tax breaks, which give private companies the means of withholding revenue from the public coffers, by calling it "an event of exceptional public interest".

They also claim that the event is expected to earn 100 Million euros is ticket sales and other associated spending from attendees.

The event has also attracted criticism from the capital's M15 protestors, who claim that the City's offering discounted Metro tickets of some 80% discriminates against locals, who have to pay the full price all year-round, and also on religious grounds.

Metro workers have also planned strike action in protest over the fact that extra service have been laid on for the coming week when scaled-back services have been in operation over the last few months in a bid to save costs.

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