Spain

On Saturday, 22 March, Madrid will witness one of the main social and political mobilisations of the year, the March for Dignity. The aim is to gather hundreds of thousands of people in Madrid, from around the country in order to show opposition to the anti-working class and anti-social policies of the past few years. The demonstration will march under the slogans "Do not pay the public debt", for a "Basic income to all those without resources", "No more cuts", "Bread, Housing and Jobs for all" and "Down with the Troika Governments."

In the State of the Nation debate, Spanish president Rajoy announced that 2014 will be "the year of recovery." Before this bombastic statement, the government had frozen the meagre minimum wage (€ 645.3 per month), raised the price of transportation by 1.9% and consolidated the huge rise in electricity prices of recent years.

As we enter the second half of the ruling Popular Party term of office, we witness a change of mood in the working class and other layers of society: one which is more resolute, firm and militant. A certain element of fatalism and helplessness permeated the year 2013 thanks to the inability of the mass movement to defeat the reactionary policies of the PP. This is now being overcome.

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and parents marched yesterday, October 24, in over 70 cities and towns in Spain against cuts and counter-reforms and in defence of high quality and free state education as part of a one day strike of the whole education system.

This morning, a last minute decision by the European Court of Human Rights stopped, temporarily, the eviction of 43 people who have been occupying an empty block of flats in Salt, Girona, known as #BlocSalt. Over 700 people, organised by the anti-eviction movement PAH, had gathered overnight to resist the court order, including a large contingent of firefighters in uniform. This case highlights one of the most scandalous features of the housing crisis in Spain.

On Sunday May 15 2011, 150,000 people marched in about 40 cities throughout Spain under the banner of Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now). The main slogan of the demonstrations was “We are not commodities in the hands of bankers and politicians”. In this article, which was originally published in 2011, Alan Woods explains the significance of this movement and outlines the position of Marxists towards it.

"España entera es un escrache". Así empezaba un artículo en la web de Público.

El PP y los medios de comunicación de la burguesía han arremetido visceralmente contra la propuesta de la Plataforma de Afectados por las Hipotecas (PAH) de señalar  a los cargos públicos que apoyan las medidas que favorecen los desahucios. Las demandas de la PAH, sin embargo, son apoyadas por la mayoría de la población. Ada Colau, portavoz estatal de la PAH, estigmatizada por los medios más reaccionarios, explicaba correctamente cómo "se envía la policía contra ciudadanos honrados..., pero no contra los corruptos ni bancos que acosan a los más

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February 20th and 21st saw Spain’s Congress (Parliament) debating the “State of the Nation”. While the debate was going on an opinion poll showed that of 80% the people do not feel they are represented by the Congress.  A growing wave of discontent is being translated into struggle. Spain is like a pressure cooker without a safety valve, facing a crisis of the regime which can only be solved through the eruption of the masses onto the scene.

On 31 January the Spanish paper El País published several documents showing top leaders of the ruling Popular Party receiving regular payments in cash from the party. The money was illegal donations by top businesses, particularly in the construction and private security sectors.

Austerity isn’t working; in fact it is simply exacerbating the deep crisis that Spain finds itself in. None of the mainstream parties have come up with a programme that can put an end to this crisis. Here we publish the programme of the Spanish Marxists of Lucha de Clases.

We have received the following report from a Spanish comrade living in Edinburgh, Julia S. Vidania, on her recent visit to her home city of Madrid. She gives a vivid account of the almost revolutionary tension in the city as the European austerity programme and the crisis of capitalism erodes the veneer of stability in society, exposing the deep fault-lines of the class struggle. We strongly recommend this well written account which is full of detail and insights.

As the Spanish government got its €65bn austerity package passed in Parliament, millions of people took to the streets in unprecedented demonstrations against cuts on July 19. The day after, as the Valencian regional government asked for a central government bail out (of 3.5bn euro), the risk premium on Spanish bonds hit a new record, while 10 year bonds were yielding 7.3%. The Spanish economy is on the verge of a full bail out.

Last night over 150,000 people turned out in Madrid to receive the coal miners who have marched for 18 days to cover the 400 km separating their home regions from the Spanish capital. A huge crowd of tens of thousands (the Madrid secretary of CCOO union put the figure at half a million) showed their solidarity with raised fists, revolutionary slogans and songs, and accompanied them from Ciudad Universitaria all the way to the Puerta del Sol square which the indignados have filled often in the last one year of struggles.

After having sworn there was no need for it, finally the Spanish government of Rajoy was forced to ask for European help to bail out the banking system. On Saturday, June 9, the European Union agreed to deliver up to 100 billion euro to help rescue Spanish banks.

May ended in Spain with frantic attempts to prevent the collapse of the banking system, saddled with a massive amount of toxic loans linked to the housing bubble. The government attempted to involve the European Union in the rescue of Bankia, while there were rumours of IMF plans for a bail out of Spain. Meanwhile miners have gone out an all out strike in defence of jobs.

In the last few days Spain has been again in the eye of the storm of the European economic crisis. What is really at stake is the unravelling of the deep crisis of Spanish capitalism with profound social and political consequences and its impact in the rest of European and world economy.