People wave Spanish flags during a drive-in protest organised by Spain’s far-right Vox party against the Spanish government’s handling of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, May 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
UPDATED 10:50 AM PT — Saturday, May 23, 2020
Thousands gathered in Spain Saturday as part of a nationwide demonstration, where they spoke out against the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cars and motorcycles could be seen driving in procession through Madrid, honking horns and waving Spanish flags. Protesters demanded officials ease lockdown restrictions, which have been some of the toughest in Europe.
Members from the far-right Vox political party have called for current left-leaning Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to resign over the damaged economy.
“The situation we have at the moment (in) Spain is intolerable. We have an intolerable president, we live in a sociocommunist country. I have had enough. We have to shout it out loud, ‘Out Sanchez and long live Spain!” – Unnamed protester
A man holds a Spanish flag and banner reading in Spanish: “Sanchez go away” during a protest against the Spanish government amid the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Alcorcon, Spain, Friday, May 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
This demonstration marked the first organized protest against government authorities since the start of the pandemic.
Spain is currently facing small outbreaks across the country. Officials anticipated slowly easing their lockdowns on Monday to allow outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people.