Spain: Political manoeuvres ahead of general election

By 20 December at the latest, Spain will face a general election, following the municipal and regional elections in May which significantly changed the country’s political map. The right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy fears that the coalitions formed by new and old social democrats could challenge the political framework established, post-Franco in 1978 which has until now remained untouched. Conservatives and other establishment forces are rushing to approve laws to secure their interests and privileges while repressing protests, to ensure that any new cabinet has its hands tied, subject to EU imperialist demands. At the same time, polls ahead of the Catalonian election on 27 September show a slump in support for Rajoy’s conservatives, and the prospect of a unilateral declaration of independence has stirred the government’s propaganda machine. JUANJO RIVAS reports from Madrid.

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Spain: Resistance against austerity and repression

On 1 July, some of the most draconian restrictions on the right to protest in existence in Europe came into effect in Spain. The Civil Security Act, known as the Ley Mordaza, or ‘Gag Law’, criminalises protest of almost every kind and has been criticised by the United Nations as having ‘a chilling effect’ on the freedom of peaceful assembly. It is a symptom of the government’s fear of the growing opposition to its austerity measures and repressive policies. On the eve of the introduction of the law, thousands of people marched in protest in 20 Spanish cities. Juanjo Rivas reports from Madrid.

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Spain votes against austerity

The new mayor of Barcelona, anti-eviction activist Ada Colau

The results of Spain’s regional and municipal elections held on 24 May mark a sea-change in Spanish politics as millions of voters rejected the austerity policies of the ruling Popular Party (PP). In Spain’s two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, left-wing activists are set to become mayors. New radical coalitions are emerging that could have a significant impact in the general election in November. JUANJO RIVAS reports from Madrid.

While the conservative PP still received the most support (27%), it has lost 2.5 million votes since the 2011 local elections. This allowed left-wing coalitions, backed by the new left-wing party Podemos, to make significant gains. Although Podemos itself only received 12% of the vote, it may well gain important conservative strongholds, such as Madrid, Asturias, Valencia and Galiza if it forms alliances with the socialist democratic Socialist Party (PSOE), which was second overall.

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Can Spain follow Greece in the fight against austerity?

President Mariano Rajoy boasts about the end of the recession and an apparent slow decrease in unemployment rate. However, his optimism is overshadowed by endless cases of corruption, growing discontent among vast sections of society and the triumph of anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece, which could encourage those following similar strategies in Spain. This is a crucial year in which voters will have the chance to give an important blow to the two-party system, in municipal, regional and general elections, and possibly transform the political scenario.

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Spain: A wind of change

On 20 November, Mariano Rajoy completed his third year as President of Spain, a post he won in 2011 with a solid 44.6% of the vote. Three years later, Rajoy is trying desperately to lead a government which is staggering under the weight of corruption scandals, demands for referendums and increasing unemployment and poverty. A new political party has emerged from the social movements (see FRFI 241) which is already ahead in the polls. Podemos (‘We can’) rejects the austerity policies of the EU and is attempting to radically deepen democracy. A wind of change is blowing and it is making the privileged minority, those who have become richer from a crisis that the working class has to bear, very uneasy. Juanjo Rivas reports from Madrid.

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  1. Catalonia: pushing the Spanish state into crisis
  2. Spain - Solidarity is the future
  3. Spain: A right royal crisis as the working class resists
  4. Can Vies – a symbol of resistance, from Barcelona to beyond
  5. Spain: Ruling class hypocrisy, working class resistance /FRFI! 239 Jun/Jul 2014
  6. Spain: State racism and the struggle for dignity/ FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
  7. Spain: unity and struggle against austerity and fascism
  8. Gamonal resists: a battle for the heart of Spain
  9. Spain: Economy stagnates as resistance grows / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  10. Spain: Fight cuts and privatisation/FRFI 235 Oct/Nov 2013
  11. Spain: Corruption – and resistance/ FRFI 233 Jun/Jul 2013
  12. Spain: Fightback against austerity /FRFI 232 Apr/May 2013
  13. Spain: poor get poorer as ruling class squanders millions /FRFI 231 Feb/Mar 2013
  14. Spain: Resistance and direct action/FRFI 230 Dec 2012/Jan 2013
  15. Spain: resisting austerity and police brutality - Nov 2012
  16. Spain: Following in the footsteps of Greece /FRFI 229 Oct/Nov 2012
  17. Urgent letter from Spain
  18. Spain goes begging to EU: resistance grows / 228 Aug/Sep 2012
  19. Arrests in Britain as Spain steps up war on Basque nationalists/ FRFI 228 Aug/Sep 2012
  20. Spanish Miners Fight Back
  21. Fightback in Spain grows: ‘the movement will itself become the future’ / FRFI 227 June/July 2012
  22. Spain: Austerity plans face growing resistance /FRFI 226 April/May 2012
  23. Spain: corruption and social struggle / FRFI 225 Feb/Mar 2012
  24. Spain: On the march against austerity/ FRFI 224 December 2011/January 2012
  25. Spain: revolt of the outraged / FRFI 221 June/July 2011