Protesters aren’t associated with any political party in particular and, instead, the movement is serving as a catch all for those upset over the current economic situation in Spain. The country has a 21% unemployment rate and a 43% youth unemployment rate. Its inflation rate is above the eurozone average and its growth remains low.
From the outside looking in, it resembles the situation in Egypt in many ways. Disaffected youth, enraged by a high unemployment rate, communicating over new forms of social media, subverting the traditional power structure in the country.
But Spain is a completely different country than Egypt, and others experiencing protest movements in the Middle East. It’s democratic, and protesters are requesting reforms, not regicide. And things are getting better in Spain, although perhaps not fast enough.
In many ways, it comes down to what happens at this weekend’s elections, according to Pau Garcia:
If the upcoming elections see a raise in the number of voters, but a decline in the two biggest political parties (Out own republican and democrat parties) , the social movement will go further, and probably some key changes will start to evolve. But if less people vote, or in uncertainty the fear moves people to the biggest parties, as strong as the tide arrived, it will go back to the traditional and sadly famous Spanish lack of interest on anything beyond food, R&R and soccer.
So you need to watch the protests closely, especially in the wake of Sunday’s elections.