Young people getting involved in politics is wonderful, but less so when it's by punching leaders in the face, as a 17-year-old just did to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday night. Although the exact motive is unclear, the suspect told the newspaper El Pais "I'm glad we did" after he was arrested for assaulting the Prime Minister and breaking his glasses during a campaign stop in the town of Pontevedra. Here's the footage, which may be NSFW if you work in a place where people can understand Spanish swear words:
Although the Prime Minister was fundamentally unharmed, the attack did leave a mark.
It's the Internet, of course, so even an unprovoked assault on a world leader gets immediately remixed:
While there may not be an official motive, Rajoy has lower favorability ratings among Millennials in Spain than Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator who ruled the nation for 36 years. This is due to Rajoy's leadership on stringent austerity policies against government spending, which are not looked upon kindly by a generation suffering a 51% unemployment rate. Those policies may indeed help Spain in the long run as it shifts away from public-sector jobs to more organic job creation, but those benefits are still far down the road and out of reach for young people who are dangerously within reach of the Prime Minister.