What is Going On in Spain? Reply

Politicos culpables Spain

Vicente Navarro writes for Counterpunch.org–Something is happening in Spain. A party that did not exist one year ago, Podemos, with a clear left-wing program, would win a sufficient number of votes to gain a majority in Spanish Parliament if an election were held today. Meanwhile, the leaders of the group G-20 attending their annual meeting in Australia were congratulating the president of the Spanish conservative-neoliberal government, Mr. Mariano Rajoy, for the policies that his government had imposed. (I use the term “imposed” because none of these policies were written in its electoral program.)

These included: (1) the largest cuts in public social expenditures(dismantling the underfunded Spanish welfare state) ever seen since democracy was established in Spain in 1978 and (2) the toughest labor reforms, which have substantially deteriorated labor market conditions. Salaries have declined by 10% since the Great Recession started in 2007, and unemployment has hit an all-time record of 26% (52% among the youth). The percentage of what the trade unions defined as “shit work” (temporary, precarious work) has increased, becoming the majority of new contracts in the labor market (more than 52% of all contracts), and 66% of unemployed people do not have any form of unemployment insurance or public assistance.

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Read Navarro’s long article on Counterpunch.org: What’s Going on in Spain?

See also BBC.com’s 2012 article: What Went Wrong with Spain

Also The Unhappy Campers, a 2011 article in Economist.com about Spain’s Indignados

Indignados demonstration Madrid

General view of the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on May 19, 2011 during a protest against Spain’s economic crisis and its sky-high jobless rate. Young people camped in main squares across Spain in the largest spontaneous protests since the country plunged into recession after the collapse of a property bubble in 2008. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO

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