Spanish anti-lockdown car protest draws thousands

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Spanish anti-lockdown car protest draws thousands


Image shows a man waves a Spanish flag as he takes part in an in-vehicle protest

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Getty Images

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The far-right Vox party urged supporters to protest the country’s lockdown from their cars

Thousands of people in Spain are protesting against the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The far-right Vox party urged supporters to drive through major cities without leaving their vehicles in order to maintain social distancing.

Protesters in the capital, Madrid, drove in convoy and waved Spanish flags as they called for socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to resign.

Spain imposed some of the tightest restrictions in Europe on 14 March.

It has eased restrictions in recent weeks, but Madrid and Barcelona have remained under tight lockdown due to their more severe outbreaks of Covid-19.

Both cities will begin to relax their curbs from Monday by allowing outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people.

Why are people protesting?

The country’s two-month lockdown has seen hotels, bars and restaurants all close as well as beaches and other outdoor attractions.

The government says this has allowed it to get the outbreak under control, and the daily death toll has been gradually declining.

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Getty Images

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Spain has been one of the countries worst affected by the pandemic

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Getty Images

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Vox leader Santiago Abascal spoke from an open-topped bus in Madrid

But, on Saturday, far-right protesters called for the lockdown to be lifted entirely owing to its impact on jobs and the economy.

Almost one million jobs were lost in March alone, and forecasts suggest the Spanish economy will contract by up to 12% this year as a result of the pandemic.

The demonstrators called for both Mr Sanchez and Deputy P

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