In the Spanish city of Bilbao there was a massive march on Saturday night (5 November) to protest against the government's agreement with Opposition leaders on a plan to revive the country's economy and safeguard democracy.
In the Spanish city of Bilbao there was a massive march on Saturday night (5 November) to protest against the government's agreement with Opposition leaders on a plan to revive the country's economy and safeguard democracy. Between 80,000 and 100,000 left-wingers took part in the largely peaceful demonstration.
SYNOPSIS: The trade unions which organised the demonstration complained that the left-wing Opposition parties had 'sold them out' by agreeing to the plan. They said the measures were prejudicial to the working class but not to management.
In return for a 20 per cent ceiling on wage increases the government has promised higher pensions, a slum removal campaign, cheaper rents and an increase in unemployment benefits for the country's 600,000 jobless. But the demonstrators claimed that the plan would increase the unemployment problem by producing massive redundancies.
There was little trouble despite the large numbers except for an incident when a group of anarchists tried to disrupt the march and scuffling broke out. Similar demonstrations took place in other parts of the country. Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez negotiated the economic pact two weeks ago to save Spain's new-born democracy from collapsing under the pressures of inflation, unemployment and a widening balance of payments deficit. Drawn-out negotiations took place before Premier Suarez could reach agreement with the Communists, Socialists, rightwing parties and regional minorities.
The Prime Minister said he was 'very satisfied' with the outcome, and felt confident that Spain could overcome the crisis. As a part of the package the government gave housewives and workers a voice in fixing prices and widened the powers of Spain's first democratic Parliament since 1936.