Yesterday, in what is an appetizer to the great 2013 convergence trade
(that, between the now thoroughly dead Greek and the Spanish economy, which is rapidly getting there, of course), several thousand Spanish policemen took the streets of Madrid protesting the latest round of austerity, which included frozen pensions and the elimination of the Christmas bonus (they will have many more opportunities to protest not only the loss of any future
upside, but the eventual cut of existing
wages and entitlements). As RT reports, protesters blew whistles, shouted slogans, and carried anti-austerity banners as they marched through the city centre to the interior ministry. But perhaps the most telling message read on one of the slogans, was the following:
“Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians.”
And there you have the entire current clusterfuck summarized in one simple sentence: because as long as those responsible for the ongoing economic collapse, which will inevitably end in war as many have observed, Kyle Bass most recently, are not only not arrested but preserve their positions of power, any and all change will merely be cosmetic and any real change will only affect the bank accounts of the global middle class which are slowly but surely drained to zero.
The Spanish government has imposed harsh spending cuts aimed at saving 150 billion euros between 2012 and 2014. The move has been met with anger and protests from hundreds of thousands of Spanish citizens.
The austerity measures are in exchange for a rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros from the EU to help the country’s stricken banks.
“The problem is they take from us to give to others, like the autonomous regions and the banks,” 33-year-old police officer Antonio Perez told AP.
But it’s not just their pay the police are worried about.
A spokesman for Spain’s Unified Police Union, Jose Maria Benito, said the cuts will affect the nation’s security, adding that working conditions have become more precarious and law enforcement equipment was no longer up to standard.
“We are here to tell the government that security has to be its priority…in socially convulsive times, we need an adequate police response,” Benito told AP. He added that 15,000 workers who have left the force were not going to be replaced.
“Each year, between 1,500 and 2,000 police officers retire and 125 are recruited, which means in three or four years, there will be more insecurity and crime in Spain,” the union’s general secretary Jose Maria Sanchez Fornet said in a speech.