SPANISH president Mariano Rajoy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were subjected to booing and hissing after a six-kilometre hike across Galicia yesterday (Sunday).
Frau Merkel had flown to Spain straight from the Ukraine capital, Kiev, for a meeting with Rajoy ahead of the Spain-Germany summit in Brussels on August 30.
Almost as soon as the Chancellor landed, she and her Spanish counterpart went for a walk along six kilometres of the famous pilgrims' route, known as the Camino de Santiago, which has various starting points across Europe and ends at the iconic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia – Rajoy's native city.
The pair reached the Los Reyes Católicos guest house at around 19.00hrs, one of the official inns along the route, where they were met with several hundred people shouting 'out, out'.
“It's a long, hard hike for the people of Spain – not like the one you've just done,” someone called, whilst others protested against austerity measures and funding cuts and some heckled Frau Merkel, telling her to 'go back to Germany'.
A few supporters proffered timid applause, however, when they got up close and personal with tourists and residents in the city-centre square, the Praza do Obradoiro.
More residents and tourists gathered outside the restaurant where they had dinner – fish and seafood à la carte – trying to get a photo, even though the windows were mostly blacked out and security guards lined the doorway.
This morning (Monday) the pair are due to hold a press conference at the guest house at 10.30hrs, and at 11.00hrs they will go on a tour of the famous pilgrims' cathedral.