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.

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.

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