Over 90 thousand people participated in protests against education cutbacks in the center of the Spanish capital Madrid. The protesters marched from Neptune square to Seville street carrying banners that read “Education is not an expenditure, but an investment. No to cutbacks! “and “Think of London: one teacher less today, four policemen more tomorrow”.
There were no clashes between police and the protesters. The media mentioned only one incident when police prohibited a young man from hanging a banner on the sculpture in Cybele fountain.
The demonstration took place on the first day of a strike of Madrid’s teachers, incensed at local authorities’ plans to cut back on teaching staff at schools, plans that would affect over 3 thousand people. Also, according to the city authorities, the time that each secondary school teacher must devote to weekly lessons with pupils in class is to be increased from 18 to 20 hours per week. Madrid’s authorities hope these measures will result in savings of over 80 million euros. Previously, teachers in Madrid turned out to protest on September 7th and 14th .. The first demonstration assembled some ten thousand people, the second, according to various sources – from 30 to 50 thousand.
The present teachers strike is expected to last three days – 20, 21 and 22 September, RIA Novosti reports.