Socialist Worker

Eurozone turmoil spreads to Spain

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2304

Could Spain be the next eurozone domino to fall? With a near-run on one of its biggest banks, Bankia, last week, market chaos has become the norm.

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government is committed to imposing deep cuts.

Working people have suffered mass unemployment for the past three years. Young people are hit particularly hard.

Spain is officially in recession after its economy shrank for two quarters in a row. A bailout is looming large as it struggles to pay its debts—and workers’ wages.

The country has missed financial targets for “budgeting and waste” set by the European Union. And its banks are sinking into a swamp of toxic debts.

On Friday last week global stock markets tumbled to their lowest since November last year. The bankers, spooked by Greece, threatened to drag Spain further into the mire.

City analyst Nicholas Spiro, of Spiro Sovereign Strategy, said Spain was “treading on very thin ice”. He added that “break‑up contagion” is starting to take hold.

But resistance is on the rise too. Education workers and students staged a national strike against the government’s attacks on education on Monday of this week.

And the indignados movement, launched in May last year, has helped to bring together workers, unemployed people and students. The indignados call for an end to austerity and unemployment.

The radical majority are highly critical of capitalism and the way that society is organised. They have mobilised millions of people.

And they have won huge support—a survey this month shows that 78 percent of people in Spain think that the movement is “right” on austerity.

After Greece, it’s not just Spain that’s in the bankers’ firing line. Italy, Portugal, Ireland and others look set to be targeted one by one.

The battle lines in Spain, as across the eurozone, are the people versus the banks. Mass resistance from workers will be our key to victory.

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