PP accuses Socialists of fomenting student violence amid “climate of conflict”

Extremadura premier escorted out of university building after demonstration

Popular Party (PP) officials on Thursday accused the opposition Socialists of being behind the wave of student protests that have rocked Barcelona and other cities across Spain.

Some PP representatives have also questioned why television networks transmitted the many images of the police confrontations and riots that took place in the Catalan capital on Wednesday. “These images from Barcelona are the forefront of what we have become; they have really hurt us and probably have cost us lots of jobs and lots of investment opportunities,” said Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.

PP organizational secretary Carlos Floriano charged that the Socialists have “created a climate of social conflict” as a challenge to the government’s reforms.

“We would like to ask [party leader] Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, if at all possible, to explicitly reject the violence that has broken out on the streets of our country,” Floriano told a news conference.

For the second day, students and their supporters took to the streets but this time in Cáceres, where a group of protestors surrounded Extremadura regional premier José Antonio Monago, who was visiting the local university’s law school. Monago had to be escorted out of the building when demonstrators protesting cuts in education tried to block his exit.

On Wednesday, 12 people were hurt, including seven police officers, in the most violent protest Barcelona has seen in more than 20 years. Student leaders maintain that those committing violence were squatters and other anti-establishment groups who had infiltrated the protest.


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