Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy Punched. Why is the Youth Angry?

Mariano Rajoy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was punched in the face by a young man standing in the crowd at a campaign event Wednesday, reported BBC.

According to NYT, the Prime Minister was making a campaign visit in Pontevedra in Galicia, a town in northwestern Spain, when a 17-year-old pretending to take a selfie, instead jumped at the 60-year-old politician and punched him on the side of the head, the New York Times reported. He was quickly detained. Video of the attack shows police taking chase as the crowd moves to keep Rajoy on his feet in the wake of the assault.

Despite a markedly bruised face and his glasses knocked off, the People’s Party leader quickly reassured his Twitter followers in Spanish that he is fine, and thanked supporters for their concern.

The Socialist party (PSOE) lost to Rajoy’s People’s Party in a sound defeat in 2011, Reuters reported, but Spain quickly plummeted into a recession following the election.

Unemployment rates for youth in Spain like the one who threw the face punch rose to 57.7% in 2013, according to International Business Times. Under Rajoy, The Nation reports, the government claimed that 2015 would bring “the greatest reduction of unemployment in Spain’s history,” but youth unemployment remains just under 48 percent, and overall unemployment has stagnated at 21 percent.

Many youth who are employed are degraded by being underemployed, reports Dan Hirschfield on www.dw.com. Despite completing university degrees, many young people get their own punch in the face as they are “hired” as interns – unpaid interns.

Some young people don’t believe the government claims that the country’s recession has ended.

“They already have their Bachelors and Masters degrees, and they’re working as waiters and waitresses, if they can,” one woman told DW. “And that’s a lot of unemployment, so I’m not sure I believe those numbers.”

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Major news outlet, The Economist, reported in April this year that Spain’s unemployment rate is among the worst in the EU.

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