Half a thousand protesters marched this Saturday through the center of Madrid, called by the State Table for the Shielding of Pensions (MERP), demanding that benefits not be privatized or cut. The march, which has been repeated with calls across Spain in recent months, took place between Jacinto Benavente Square and Atocha Street in the capital, and was composed of representatives from fifteen of the 225 unions that make up the platform, as well as Más is responsible for Madrid, Recupera Madrid and the Regional Federation of Neighbours.
In the closing remarks of this call, table co-chair Sarah Garcia explained that Article 50 of the Constitution speaks of “adequate pensions, but not public pensions”. Organizers demand that Magna Carta explicitly recognizes the public nature of these benefits and guarantees that retirees’ purchasing power is not reduced. Roundtable co-speaker Joan Kunyat stressed that the protest does not want to go against anyone, and that despite the different positions on pension reform that the organizing organizations have, they are united by the same objective: “That they do not divide us, because the most important thing is unity”. Kunyat explained that along with shielding he wanted to explicitly ban privatization.
In the capital too, several dozen people took part in a demonstration called by the CGT union against the price hike and for the recovery of purchasing power of wages. The march took place between CEOE’s headquarters and the Ministry of Economy to “articulate the discontent and fatigue of millions of people” because of “the brutal increase in prices and the increase in the cost of services and basic goods”. Protesters lamented that it is becoming increasingly difficult to live a dignified life with the cost of transport, energy, food or mortgages rising. “Families have to choose between paying their mortgage, bills or food.”
Wake up with analysis of the day by Bernd Gonzalez Harbor