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.

On June 26 Spaniards were called to the polls in an atmosphere of polarisation and expectation. These elections came after months of political stalemate, where no party was able to form a government. The polls predicted that the radical left coalition Unidos Podemos (UP) would do well, coming second, and that the parties of the establishment would take a serious hit.

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