We have received the following report from a Spanish comrade living in Edinburgh, Julia S. Vidania, on her recent visit to her home city of Madrid. She gives a vivid account of the almost revolutionary tension in the city as the European austerity programme and the crisis of capitalism erodes the veneer of stability in society, exposing the deep fault-lines of the class struggle. We strongly recommend this well written account which is full of detail and insights.

As the Spanish government got its €65bn austerity package passed in Parliament, millions of people took to the streets in unprecedented demonstrations against cuts on July 19. The day after, as the Valencian regional government asked for a central government bail out (of 3.5bn euro), the risk premium on Spanish bonds hit a new record, while 10 year bonds were yielding 7.3%. The Spanish economy is on the verge of a full bail out.

Last night over 150,000 people turned out in Madrid to receive the coal miners who have marched for 18 days to cover the 400 km separating their home regions from the Spanish capital. A huge crowd of tens of thousands (the Madrid secretary of CCOO union put the figure at half a million) showed their solidarity with raised fists, revolutionary slogans and songs, and accompanied them from Ciudad Universitaria all the way to the Puerta del Sol square which the indignados  have filled often in the last one year of struggles.

After having sworn there was no need for it, finally the Spanish government of Rajoy was forced to ask for European help to bail out the banking system. On Saturday, June 9, the European Union agreed to deliver up to 100 billion euro to help rescue Spanish banks.

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