S PAIN goes to the polls this weekend in what should be, if the polls are to be believed, a landslide victory for the opposition Partido Popular, who appear on course to win in many Spanish provinces including the Balearics. But it is protest marches, in many Spanish cities by jobless people who are calling for true democracy who are catching all the headlines.

Spain has an unemployment rate of almost five million and these protests have growing support. Organisers say that the main parties are not doing enough to fight unemployement. Last weekend there were protests in most Spanish cities organised through internet social networking sites. But the protests have appeared to have caught the political elite almost by surprise and the ruling socialists and the opposition Partido Popular have even offered their support to the demonstrators. Organisers say that it is the silent majority who have had enough of “lies” by the mainstream parties. The recession in Spain has now lasted almost three years and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel. This is one of the reasons why there are so many smaller parties standing for election in this weekend´s polls because many are not impressed by the mainstream parties. The protests look set to continue with many more being planned. It is certainly a sign of the times. Mass protests organised through the internet across Spain, changing times.