* Spain's "Indignados" to renew protests
* Have urged no vote for main parties
* Austerity measures focus for discontent
By Jonathan Gleave
MADRID , Nov 18 The thousands of
protestors who filled town squares across Spain earlier this
year are getting ready to take to the streets again when the new
government brings in harsh austerity measures.
The "Indignados" (Indignant), as they came to be known, have
kept their heads down in the run-up to Sunday's elections and
called for voters to boycott the two main political parties
Polls predict a sweeping victory for the centre-right
People's Party (PP) over the ruling Socialists (PSOE) and it is
expected to unleash a wave of spending cuts and labour reforms
to combat the debt crisis that is roiling the euro zone.
Disillusion with Spain's political establishment was a
driving factor of the protests, especially among the young
people who are bearing the brunt of Spain's 21 per cent
"I suppose I'll vote on Sunday but it isn't really
important. The big demos will come with the real issues -
cutbacks," said 42-year-old street artist Ciril Vidal.
"More and more people are seeing that we don't need a new
government, we need a whole new model."
The loose grouping of jobless youths, cash-strapped
pensioners, students, anti-capitalists and electoral reform
campaigners occupied squares in towns and cities across Spain in
May in protest against the recession and a political class they
felt had betrayed them with bank bailouts and austerity
The focal point was the Puerta del Sol in the centre of the
capital Madrid. Camping out in tents and makeshift shelters,
they inspired similar movements elswehere in Europe and the
Unlike in Greece and Italy, where protests against austerity
measures have turned violent, the Spanish movement has been
Demonstrators plan to protest again on Saturday, defying a
ban on such rallies on the day before an elections.
In a sign of what PP leader Mariano Rajoy can expect as
prime minister, thousands of teachers and students marched in
Madrid and other cities on Thursday night in protest against job
and budget cuts in public education.
NO VOTE FOR BIG PARTIES
The Indignant movement has urged Spaniards not to vote for
the two main political parties, who have alternated in power
since the end of the Franco dictatorship and the return to
democracy in 1978.
For many, a vote for the Socialists they feel have abandoned
them is unthinkable and in messages on social media, they have
combined the names of the two parties into a single acronym,
But there is no consensus on whether people should abstain,
cast votes, or back minor parties.
"I'm more sure of whom I'm not going to vote for than who I
am. I'm not voting for the big parties, I don't know whether I
will vote for the United Left (IU) coalition or one of the small
parties," said 22-year-old communications studies Paula García.
Spain's third largest political party, the United Left, is
likely to garner the most votes from the Indignant movement,
given it has been one of the loudest opponents of the bank
bail-outs and austerity measures which prokoved ire.
However, the main winner from the Indignados call not to
vote for the main parties is likely to be the PP, whose path
towards an absolute majority may be cleared by a protest vote
against the Socialists.