The Sindicat Andaluz de Trabajadores (Andalucian Workers Union) has been out in force on the streets of Granada today. This small activist union was formed in 2007 owing to disatisfaction with the representation offered by other larger trade unions. So far today city centre roads have been blocked and the offices of Osuna (major Spanish estate agent and developer) and BBVA bank have been occupied by several hundred protestors.
Of course, the focus is the assistance provided by the Spanish government to banks, developers and estate agents. This is coupled with discontent at high levels of unemployment and the difficulties faced by many in finding secure accommodation despite the massive investment in new homes- many of which are sitting empty. The end of the construction boom in Spain has brought a massive surge in unemployment as well as promises of taxpayer subsidies for those that were all too willing to talk up the boom. The workers now demand that those who have benefitted most from the good times pay back some of their superprofits to bail out thousands of families who have fallen below the poverty line.
For Andalucias workers one man who is particularly indebted to the people is Nicolas Osuna, who as well as being president of Osuna, is the biggest owner of olive tree plantations, is on the board of the Bank of Andalucia, is also a major shareholder in Iberdrola and Banco Popular as well as owning shares in Santander. In the words of leftist leader Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo the bailouts are "the politics of the economic bandits, the robbing of the poor to give the proceeds to the rich"
The occupation of the Osuna officers was ended by police at about 2pm but the protestors simply moved up the road to join their fellows at the BBVA offices which remain occupied as this is being written 7.30 pm To liven things up they decided to block a major city crossroads for about half an hour. Strangely there are few police visible and those that are seem content to allow the workers to remain inside the bank where many are smoking, eating and taking a well deserved siesta. In fact, the mood inside the Osuna offices prior to that was distinctly like that of a workers cocktail party where ham rolls were dished out from a large sack (sorry about that veggies). Now the plan is to bed down at BBVA for the night
for photos and reports in spanish
link to www.granadahoy.com
link to www.ideal.es