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16.01.2014 17:04 News >> Spain's Burgos Street-Revamp Protests Go Violent And Spread To Other Cities

Spain's Burgos Street-Revamp Protests Go Violent And Spread To Other Cities

Riot police intervenes as thousands march in Madrid in protest at Burgos road remodelling project of €8 million during the economic crisis.

Demonstrations in Spain's northern province of Burgos enter its seventh day with protests against the municipal project to turn the main 'Vitoria' street into a boulevard. The protests have spread to Madrid and to the town of Valladolid.

Breaking out on January 10 originally as a demonstration against the building of a new avenue in the heart of Burgos, the historical capital of Castile, the protests turned violent, sparking fierce clashes in Madrid between the protesters marching in support of Burgos and against the riot police.

The Spanish police cracked down on demonstrators in Madrid on Wednesday as thousands of people marched demanding the authorities halt the costly plans to remodel the street. The project will reduce the lanes of traffic in Burgos' Calle Vitoria to one way instead of two, will insert a bike lane and green spaces and will replace free parking spaces with a paid underground car park. It will cost eight million euros ($11 million) and will take 18 months of roadworks. There is also unrest among local residents as the road remodelling project will reduce the capacity of the street by half, which they fear will eventually lead to traffic problems.

In an attempt to calm down the heated protests, Burgos Mayor Javier Lacalle announced that the project was shelved for 15 days and that they would launch talks with the protesters, which proved useless with the escalation of the violent demonstrations.

11 people including 5 police officers were wounded during the protests on Thursday, and riot police arrested 24 people including three minors from around 400 young protesters gathering in one of Madrid's main streets.

The protesters, claimed to be linked to far leftist groups, were reported to have blocked the traffic, set the trash dumpsters on fire, threw stones at the police and caused damage to the local environment.

Up until Thursday, at least 21 people have been injured and 46 others have been taken into custody, including five for whom arrest warrants were issued.

- Madrid



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