Dan Hancox

I hadn’t been in Oviedo for long before I saw the anarchists’ red and black flags. Fifty people stood outside the train station in the midday sun, protesting against the imminent privatisation of the railway. ‘The future holds no security,’ a man in his sixties told me, bothering his bushy white moustache. ‘We will lose our jobs, ticket prices will rise. Only the rich will benefit from this.’ Passers-by were mostly unmoved; another day, another protest in Mariano Rajoy’s Spain. I was handed a leaflet in Spanish (Asturias also has its own language, Bable), and read the opening sentence: ‘The government has announced its intention to dismantle and privatise the Renfe, copying the failed and ruinous model of British railway privatisation.’

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