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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #223 - Spain: General strikes are linked (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 27 Jan 2013 14:08:24 +0200


Mass unemployment, cuts in public services, economic recession unprecedented in the population, on 14 November, the Spanish and the Spaniards showed their determination not to let them. ---- The news came as a bombshell Spain, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012: more than 5.77 million unemployed workers, an active four. But it is also one in ten households where all family members are unemployed. Since the explosion of the housing bubble in 2008, is also evaluated between 250 000 and 400 000 the number of families who strangled by their mortgages were evicted by their banks. It is not uncommon under the same roof, grandparents, children and grandchildren are forced to live together. To cope with the crisis, the Conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has announced reforms to "make the economy more flexible and competitive."

In fact, in Spain there is a desperate attempt on the part of the ruling class to contain the devastating effects of the crisis. And this is of course the people who paid the price. In July, Mariano Rajoy announced an austerity amounting to 65 billion euros in savings. The consequences were immediate with a significant reduction in the budget for large parts of the public sector. Obviously these are the areas less profitable or more expensive in the first affected, as Education and Public Service Health, undergoing privatization and the elimination of thousands of jobs. VAT - if any unfair tax - has also been increased from 18 to 20%, affecting mainly the poor. Privatization and job cuts

In parallel, the Spanish government will nationalize four banks whose assets are considered toxic in return with the promise of a loan of 100 billion euros by the European Union. If the origin of this plan is the near-collapse of the bank Dexia, whose losses amounted to 7 billion euros, the banking sector remains plagued by more than 184 billion euros of assets potentially toxic. Despite budget cuts, and the Community, one may wonder how Spain will be able to achieve its policy of nationalization. As explained shortly before his death, Robert Kurz, economist critique of capitalism, different traditional policies do not work against this latest crisis of capitalism. Or a monetarist policy or a policy of increasing demand can not overcome this situation because it is indeed a structural crisis of capitalism.

Banking sector undermined
The Conservative government navigates to as many of its European counterparts. The risk with this bank bailout is to see its debt explode continuously. The crisis seems endless. Faced with this desperate situation, the resistance movement in Spain continues to grow and is characterized by a great heterogeneity. Since 2008, grew more and more acts of civil disobedience. Self-management practices have been very successful, and we see the development of neighborhood assemblies, occupied social centers, urban vegetable gardens, the reoccupation of empty homes as well as actions of self-reductions. In Catalonia, develop eco-experiments based network of cooperatives, barter, alternative currencies. There is of course the prime example of the movement of Indignant es always happens to thousands of people gather in the street. This movement has also developed practical alternatives such as urban gardens to the Puerta del Sol. In Madrid, the operation "encircle parliament" of September 25 was a great success and was repeated for several days.

Practices of direct democracy
This is a movement that practice direct democracy and frighten leaders. Punishment is fierce and violent clashes with the security forces are commonplace. But within this heterogeneous movement, many do not require a reorganization of capitalism and prey as financial excesses. Many areas affected by the government's reforms are fighting, particularly in Education or hospital. Wednesday, November 14, as part of the European mobilization against austerity policies, unions have called a general strike. This is the second since the accession to power of the government Rajoy. The appeal was widely followed and country walking in slow motion. Tens of thousands of people marched in the streets of Barcelona, ââthe country's second city, a million in Madrid according to unions. The two reformist organizations that dominate the labor movement, the UGT and the CCOO, but can play their role in supporting capitalism because they did not hesitate to sign an agreement very unfavorable for workers in struggle at Renault. Their words are only illiberal sometimes with hints of patriotic demagoguery when they are in the EU and Germany Angela Merkel. Regarding the CGT and the CNT, both syndicalist organizations usually compete, which is very damaging to the development of the movement, signed last year a call for a general strike unit, thus initiating a reconciliation beneficial.

A social movement determined
Thus the Spanish population seems determined not to let the reforms face unfair Conservative government. But for how much longer. If you want to be pessimistic, it may be recalled that in 1932 there were 6 million unemployed workers in Germany. And as noted by Hannah Arendt, the seeds of totalitarianism are present in capitalist society, especially when the masses feel superfluous. Without turning to history, it is sufficient to observe what is happening in Greece and Hungary, where the neo-fascist parties have the wind in their sails. Incidentally staging the arrest of Dawn Martin to divert public opinion unpopular reforms. Only the general strike and greater international solidarity will result from this system.

Florian (AL Paris-Sud)
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