Around 3,000 marchers in Madrid and a further 2,000 in Barcelona took to the streets on Sunday to demand a referendum on the constitutional reform agreed upon by the Socialists and the Popular Party that places a cap on the budget deficit. The reform is due to be voted on by Congress on Tuesday.
These were the biggest of a series of marches against the reform organized by the 15-M movement across Spain on Sunday. A further 400 turned out in Cádiz, 300 in Valencia, 300 in Vigo, 200 in San Sebastián, around 200 in Málaga, among other demonstrations.
The Madrid march, organized by Real Democracy Now, Youth Without Future and other groups linked to the 15-M movement began at Atocha station and ended in the Puerta del Sol. "The people also count. Referendum now!" proclaimed a large banner carried at the front of the march, which was followed by a debate in Sol to discuss the next measures the group would take to force the government into calling a referendum.
"We are expecting a fall full of demonstrations," said Fabio Gándara of Real Democracy Now. Sunday's march was held without official permission as a rapidly taken response to a rapidly taken reform of the Constitution, Gándara explained. The decision has been taken by the Socialists and the PP "without debate, without informing citizens and without being submitted to public consultation."
The marchers are due to continue their protest around Congress on Tuesday, the day deputies are to debate the proposed reform.