Thousands take to Madrid streets in protest against Nato summit

Rallies held in Spanish capital before it hosts meeting of defence alliance

Thousands have taken to the streets in Madrid, protesting against the Spanish capital's hosting of this week's Nato summit. AFP
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Thousands of people staged protests in Madrid on Sunday against a Nato summit which takes place in the Spanish capital this week.

With tight security in place, leaders of the member countries will congregate in the Spanish capital from June 29 to June 30, with the alliance forced to address the unprecedented challenge of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Nato will consider membership bids from Finland and Sweden, opposed by alliance-member Turkey.

The Nordic nations applied after the Russian assault on Ukraine.

Demonstrators spoke on the streets of how their frustrations with the current geopolitical situation had encouraged them to protest.

Retired Madrid resident Concha Hoyos said: "I am fed up [with] this business of arms and killing people. The solution they propose is more arms and wars and we always pay for it. So, no Nato, no [army] bases, let the Americans go and leave us alone without wars and weapons."

Jaled, 29, took to the streets to protest and said Nato could not provide the solution to the war in Ukraine.

Organisers claimed 5,000 people joined the march but authorities in Madrid put the number at 2,200.

Updated: June 26, 2022, 2:49 PM