A protest movement that started in Spain has now spread to Italy. The Spanish government has banned protests, but that has only encouraged more protests.
I picked the story up two days ago in Protests Mount in Spain; Sovereign Debt Crisis to Follow
Acting on a tip, the New York Times picked up the story a day later in Protesters Rally in Madrid Despite Ban.
Here are a few protest images by Juan Luis Sanchez on Yfrog.
[credit provider=”Global Economist” url=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KKFQrtizQg0/TdYmwfpPNqI/AAAAAAAALYw/7hxYVEaJS_A/s1600/protest%2B1.png”]
[credit provider=”Global Economist” url=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9cIzcMcbFlk/TdYm6Re23-I/AAAAAAAALY4/dWVi0VM7y8U/s1600/protest%2B2.png”]
[credit provider=”Global Economist” url=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-buePJa9iBsM/TdYnSuzGPoI/AAAAAAAALZA/qocxRp_ZKZI/s1600/protest%2B3.png”]
Spain’s Icelandic revolt
Protests in Iceland helped bring down the Icelandic government and stopped the bailouts of banks at the expense of Icelandic taxpayers. Can the same thing happen in Spain?
Please consider Spain’s Icelandic revolt
After passively submitting to the crisis, young Spaniards have finally taken to the street. Breaking out on the eve of municipal elections, the protests of recent days have been inspired by those in Iceland that led to the fall of the government in Reykjavik.
One morning in October 2008, Torfason Hördur turned up at what Icelanders call the “Althing”, the Icelandic parliament in the capital city, Reykjavik. By then, the country’s biggest bank, the Kaupthing, had already gone into receivership and the Icelandic financial system itself was in danger of going under. Torfason, with his guitar, grabbed a microphone and invited people to talk about their dissatisfaction with the freefall of their country and to speak their minds.
A movement spawned by the internet
But those voices calling for real democracy are not just being raised in Iceland, a country of about 320,000 inhabitants. Here in Spain, the umbrella organisation for various Spanish movements – Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now) – already lists among its proposals some 40 points ranging from controlling parliamentary absenteeism to reducing military spending through to abolishing the so-called Sinde law (a law restricting on-line infringements of copyright).
The demonstrations have broadened spontaneously, as was the case for those who rallied under the umbrellas of the “alternative globalisation” movements, and have evolved, one decade after the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on a more modest stage than the one demonstrators faced in the past at the World Economic Forum of the global elite in Davos, Switzerland.
All this is happening at astonishing speed via the Internet, which has amplified the echo of discontent and opened the lanes of cyberactivism to groups such as Anonymous, notable for intervening against companies like PayPal and Visa during the advocacy campaign for Wikileaks chief Julian Assange. Yet it was also there at the beginning of the revolts in the Arab world, to help people get round the censorship of the Tunisian and Egyptian dictatorships.
“When we grow up, we want to be Icelanders!” cried one of the leaders of the organisation during the march on Sunday May 15 before a column of young – and not so young – parents and children, students and workers, the jobless and pensioners. Many Saturdays in Iceland were needed before citizens won the changes they had demanded. Spain’s first Sunday has taken place, and was followed by a Tuesday [May 17]- but there’s still a long way to go.
Protests have now spread to Italy and beyond.
Green tents are current protest camps. Purple tents are planned protest camps.
My friend Bran who lives in Spain writes …
A Spanish revolution is slowly gaining coverage, both internationally and locally. http://www.ikimap.com/map/2CYF is a map of existing, planned and evicted camps. Politicians and administrations are trying to claim sympathy and similarity to the protests expression, yet no one has good faith in the political class.
‘Revolution’ jumps from Spain to Italy
Courtesy of Google Translate (a choppy one, slightly edited by me) please consider ‘Revolution’ jumps from Spain to Italy and Italy to the rest of the world
Agglutinated protests in Spain by platform Real Democracy Now has called for demonstrations in at least six cities in the country, today and tomorrow at 20.00 .
Concentrations have been summoned by a profile of the social networking site Facebook entitled ‘Italian Revolution. Reale Democrazia Ora ‘, launched yesterday. The cities are Florence are scheduled today at 20.00, and Rome (Plaza of Spain), Milan, Bologna, Padua and Pisa, tomorrow at the same time.
The manifesto makes specific reference to the protests in Madrid, which cites as inspiration and express their solidarity. And the story is repeated all over the world
After Spain and Italy are numerous cities that have emulated the system concentrations.
Berlin joins the struggle for real democracy, support to Spain and joined the protest. “This decision May 20 Berlin Street,” announced their posters.
Paris or Buenos Aires will focus today. Brussels, Birmingham and Bogotá Ahram, tomorrow.
Amsterdam will hold a rally on Saturday 20.
For Spanish speaking readers, here is the original link: http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/espana/noticias/3081817/05/11/Italia-copia-a-Espana-y-crea-su-Italian-Revolution.html
It is difficult to know what exactly might transpire from these protests, but we certainly have seen some shocking results in Africa and the Mideast already.
Watch Italian and Spanish Government Bonds
Most eyes remain focused on Greece. It is more important, to pay attention to Spain and Italy. Here are the charts I have been watching.
Spain 10-Year Government Bonds
[credit provider=”Global Economist” url=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z_O7qlvjWcI/TdYpOhjOaBI/AAAAAAAALZQ/Voo_GuZS4I0/s1600/sovereign%2Bdebt%2Bspain%2B2011-05-19.png”]
Italy 10-Year Government Bonds
[credit provider=”Global Economist” url=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HGnM7VS38Ts/TdYpos26JpI/AAAAAAAALZY/-9VlhzCqeQw/s1600/sovereign%2Bdebt%2BItaly%2B2011-05-19.png”]
If yields break North of those zones shown in the above charts it will signify a lack of faith in the government bonds of those countries. Spain is huge, but Italy is massive. Italy has as much debt as Germany in an economy nowhere near as big.
I believe it is simply a matter of time before the markets start questioning Spanish government debt. Should Italian debt come into question, so will the very existence of the Euro itself.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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