Photo: Spanish Politicians Outraged as 'Mayor Robin Hood' Steals to Feed the Needy
“You can’t be Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. This man is just searching for publicity at the cost of everyone else.”
That was a spokesman for Spain’s Parliament-ruling People’s Party, Alfonso Alonso to Reuters regarding the acts of Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the mayor of Marinaleda, Andalusia, Spain.
Last week, Sanchez Gordillo stood outside supermarkets as supporters inside filled their carts with food and walked out without paying. Though he himself has immunity as an elected member of Andalusia’‘s regional parliament, he has stated that he would gladly renounce said immunity to be arrested along with the seven involved in the supermarket robbery.
The supermarket stunt was done for two reasons. One, Sanchez Gordillo knew there were families starving, and two, it served as a message to the Spanish government.
Since 2007, Spain’s poverty levels have risen 15 percent, with roughly 25 percent of workers without jobs. Tens of thousands are without homes due to eviction. In the Andalusia province’s town of Judar, unemployment is even higher at 34 percent, meaning 1 in 3 workers does not have a job.
Sanchez Gordillo is calling on fellow local politicians to ignore the government’s austerity measures and urge them to go after the truly dangerous - the bankers he says are being let off of fraud, the people he partially blames for tanking Spain’s economy.
Spain has one of Europe’s highest budget deficits and the EU has demanded it be reduced in order to keep the debt crisis from spreading, but Sanchez Gordillo believes Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s plans to do so are not in the best interest of the entire country, just that of the banks and the wealthy.
Along a march across Andalusia, Sanchez Gordillo who took off from Judar on Thursday, is calling on mayors o “skip budget payments, top layoffs, cease home evictions, and ignore the central government’s demands for budget cuts.
‘They say I’m dangerous,’ he told Reuters. ‘And the bankers who are let off for fraud? That’s not dangerous? The banks which borrow from the ECB for 1 percent then resell that debt to Spaniards for 6 percent - they’re not dangerous?’