Spain is about to experience huge austerity cuts that may prove explosive. On Friday Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, is set to announce what even he describes as a "very, very austere budget" to reduce the deficit. According to El País, the EU is demanding cuts larger than those of Greece, Ireland or Portugal: "There is no comparable adjustment in [our] economic history," says the paper.
As a result of this and recent changes to labour laws, only four months after the new conservative government took power, Spain's two largest unions have called for a general strike on the day before the budget announcement.… Seguir leyendo »
Proposals for voting strategies proliferated in the runup to Sunday's general election in Spain. People wrote "ballot box" on drains and toilets; others suggested cutting out the middlemen and depositing votes directly into bank machines. This campaign of ballot spoiling wasn't a subcultural anarchist prank, but a reflection of extraordinarily widespread popular disaffection. A typical sight during a pre-election protest was a respectable middle-aged man with a cigarette in one hand and a marker pen in the other going from municipal bin to municipal bin writing "Vote here" on the lids."They don't represent us" and "They are all the same" – the slogans of the (the Spanish progenitors of the Occupy movement, who have mobilised hundreds of thousands across the country) – are now mainstream.… Seguir leyendo »