When Spain first started making noises about an impending "Citizens' Security Law" that would criminalise various forms of popular protest, optimists may have assumed the flirtation with overt fascism couldn't last. At the very least - they might have reasoned - the government would have to retreat to semi-fascist mode.
Approved on March 26, and expected to come into force on July 1, the law might be mistaken for something out of the Franco playbook. Dubbed the "gag law", it prescribes fines of up to 600 euros ($635) for disrespecting police officers, up to 30,000 euros ($32,000) for disseminating images of state security forces that might endanger them or their operations, and up to 600,000 euros ($635,000) for unauthorised street protests. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.