Spain

11 September, the national holiday of Catalonia, saw a round of mass protests and rallies for the right to self-determination of Catalonia and against the banning of the referendum by the central government. In the morning, there were several gatherings by various political parties. In the afternoon, there was a huge pro-independence demonstration, which according to the police, was attended by one million people. In the evening, a mass rally was held by the radical left, pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), under the slogan of “self-determination: independence, socialism, feminism”.

A week ago, Catalan and Spanish society was shaken by two deadly terrorist attacks in Barcelona and in the town of Cambrils. The forces of reaction immediately seized the opportunity to spread their racist venom, to sow fear and division, and to promote repressive measures at home and step up their imperialist interventions abroad.

Spain never saw a genuine bourgeois revolution, and today important democratic tasks are still pending: the abolition of the monarchy, the separation between church and state, the cleansing of the state apparatus of Francoist residues… But undoubtedly the most pressing issue is the national question.

Federica Montseny speaks at the historical meeting of the CNT in Barcelona on 1977, the first one after 36 years of dictatorship in Spain. Manel Armengol

Este año se cumple el 40º aniversario del que fue, sin duda, el año decisivo de la llamada Transición. En el año 1977 tuvieron lugar los asesinatos de Atocha, que elevaron la temperatura revolucionaria de la sociedad a su grado máximo, la legalización de los sindicatos y de los partidos de izquierda, entre ellos el PCE; la celebración de las elecciones semidemocráticas del 15 de junio, así como la firma de los infames Pactos de la Moncloa, que sellarían la traición a las expectativas populares despertadas a la muerte del dictador.

On Sunday, 187,949 members of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) were called to the ballot box to choose a new leadership for the party. After a heated campaign where the more left-wing candidate, Pedro Sánchez, locked horns with the right-wing Susana Díaz, Sánchez won a resounding victory with a lead of almost 11% that has given shivers to the ruling classes.

La tranquilidad del gobierno del PP no se siente amenazada por los innumerables casos de corrupción y de saqueo del dinero público en que está envuelto el partido desde hace años. Tampoco se ve amenazada por aplicar una política económica y social que ha empobrecido a las familias trabajadoras. El gobierno del PP tiene la convicción de que, llueva o truene, será sostenido –con la excepción de algún que otro ladrido– por sus muletas de Ciudadanos, el PNV y la gestora que dirige el PSOE. Esa es la voz de mando del IBEX35.

On March 6, Spanish dockers will go on strike against a decree of the PP government which destroys the very foundations of social rights conquered with organisation and struggle, and contained in agreements and laws, such as Convention 137 of the International Labour Organisation Labour, ratified by Spain in 1973, to guarantee the regularity of employment and minimum salaries of this group of workers.

The resounding victory of Pablo Iglesias and his list of candidates at the Podemos congress, the National Citizens' Assembly, is viewed as a great event for millions of workers and youth in Spain and, by extension, for the Spanish and European left. At the same time, it represents a defeat for the ruling class and the dark forces of reaction, who barricaded themselves behind the right-wing stance of Íñigo Errejón, with the vain desire of dealing a demoralizing blow against everything that is alive and is truly progressive in the country.

The second statewide Citizens Assembly (Vistalegre II) has a tremendous importance for Podemos and the Spanish left. It is by no means an accident that the event has been accompanied by increasing polarisation between the positions of comrades Pablo Iglesias and Íñigo Errejón.

An 81 year-old woman died in a fire in her flat in Reus, Catalonia in the early hours of Tuesday, November 15. The fire was caused by a candle she kept by her bed. Two months ago, the electricity company had cut off her supply as she was unable to pay. This tragic incident reveals the barbarism of a system which puts private profit above the needs of the people and highlights the brutal impact the crisis of capitalism is having on millions of families in Spain.

After almost a year without a government, two inauspicious general elections, and the looming prospect of third elections, the incumbent Mariano Rajoy, leader of the right-wing People’s Party (PP), was made president at the eleventh hour with the support of the liberal party Ciudadanos and the abstention of the social-democratic PSOE.

The crisis in the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which opened with a coup against its leader Pedro Sanchez, was resolved at the weekend with a decisive victory of the coup plotters. That opens the way for the victors, around Susana Diaz, President of Andalucia, to allow the formation of a government of the right wing Popular Party.

Two consecutive Spanish elections have culminated in a deadlocked political situation in which no party has enough seats in parliament to form a majority government on its own. The enormous pressure that this has created has now exploded in an internal coup in the Socialist Party, PSOE, with an attempt to remove its leader, Pedro Sanchez. This could even lead to a split, a possibility that reveals the enormous political, economic, and social instability rooted in the acute crisis of Spanish capitalism.