Spain is on the verge of passing a draconian measure that threatens fundamental values of free speech. Faced with ongoing protests over economic conditions, the Spanish government is about to make insulting police officers and protesting without permission crimes punishable by fine greater than dealing drugs or prostitution. Not since Franco has the country turned so decidedly against civil liberties and free speech.
Once passed by the Spanish Parliament, citizens who dare to protest without permission will face fines up to $810,000. It would be better to sell drugs which are subject to less than five percent of that fine.
Harassment or insults can be charged with fines as high as €600,000. An insult to a police officer is now treated as a “serious offense” with fines of €30,000. Most people consider insulting the government or police to be a core exercise of free speech.
The concern is that, as economic and social tensions grow, such measures may expand throughout Europe.
Source: The Local