Thousands of people participated in a protest Saturday in Barcelona against a 50% cut in public funding that encourages the employment of disabled people.
The event, organized by disability rights’ campaign groups, was supported by almost all Catalan political parties and trade unions, and even included Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Josep Lluís Cleries, and the mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, both from the right-wing Catalan nationalist party, CiU.
A manifesto, read out by the journalist and former director of TV channel TV3 Terribas Monica, called for society to protect ‘vulnerable people’.
In a festive atmosphere where speeches alternated with live music, as many as 10,000 people decried the cuts which the organizers say could see 2,500 disabled workers fired.
Eva Granados, spokesperson for social cohension for the opposition Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) slammed the cuts by central government, controlled by Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing Popular Party since November 2011, and those introduced over the past 18 months by the CiU regional government for ‘restricting the rights and opportunities of disabled people.’
The CiU has controlled the regional government since November 2010, and Barcelona since May 2011, when it defeated the PSC after 31 continuous years in power.