Spain

"We belong to history": the end of coal and the miners

Author

John Cunningham

In the summer of 2012 a small group of ex-miners and labour movement activists met in a pub in Sheffield. We had just heard of the Spanish miners’ strike against the attempts by the right-wing government of Manuel Rajoy to withdraw subsidies to the mining industry and thereby, in effect, close it down.

A ‘fact-finding’ trip to Spain then followed and on returning to the UK a Spanish Miners Solidarity Committee was formed, raising 28,000 Euro in something like six weeks – money that went to support the families of the strikers. After which time the miners called off the strike.

25 years of jail for Catalan leaders?

Author

Martin Thomas

On Friday 5 November Spain's Supreme Court Prosecutor called for sentences of up to 25 years for the Catalan nationalist politicians jailed after the 1 October 2017 referendum on independence for Catalonia.

The prosecutor's case is that the Spanish constitution says that such a referendum could be called only with the agreement of the Spanish government. The Spanish government did not agree: in fact it mobilised state forces to try to disrupt the referendum.

The referendum ended inconclusively - 92% for Catalan independence, on only a 43% turnout.

Climate resistance must be built from below

Author

Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski

In his new book Burning Up, A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption (Pluto Press), Simon Pirani notes that the world economy tripled in size between 1945 and 1973. And the world began to burn as much fossil fuel, every three years, as in the whole of the nineteenth century.

Sánchez to keep Rajoy’s budget

Author

Rhodri Evans

Through all its confrontations with Catalan separatists, Spain has been under a minority government. On 1 June that political levitation act finally expired.

Parliament voted no confidence in the conservative PP government of Mariano Rajoy. Through a never-tested-before provision of the 1978 Spanish constitution, the new government will be led by, and probably made up solely from, the PSOE, Spain’s social-democratic party, although it has only 84 seats in the 350-seat parliament.

Rajoy tries further repression

Author

Colin Foster

Big demonstrations in Barcelona on 25 March responded to the arrest, in Germany that day, of Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont.

Supporters of Catalonia separating from Spain hold a small majority in the Catalan parliament, though they are probably still short of a majority in the electorate. Other separatist leaders are in exile or jailed.

Instead of negotiating and finding ways for a democratic decision by the people of Catalonia, the right-wing minority government in Madrid continues to try to “solve” the problem by repression.

Catalonia impasse demands challenge to Rajoy

Author

Martin Thomas

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has scheduled the first session of Catalonia's new parliament for 17 January.

Elections on 21 December gave a result similar to 2015. The pro-independence parties won a small majority of seats in the parliament (70/135 this time, 72/135 in 2015) with a slight minority of the votes (47.3% this time, 47.8% last time).

Only now several of the leading pro-independence MPs are now held in Spanish jails for sedition, or self-exiled in Brussels for fear of being jailed if they return to Catalonia.

Catalonia goes to the polls

Author

Tony Holmes

The constitutional crisis in Catalonia continues to simmer as the region awaits elections on 21 December.

A number of Catalan politicians and activists, including members of the recently dismissed government, have been denied bail and remain jailed on charges of sedition. Some are in exile in Belgium.

Vote is tight in Catalonia

Author

Rhodri Evans

On 5 December, the Spanish Supreme Court withdrew its international arrest warrant against Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four other members of the government who have sought refuge in Belgium. Other Catalan politicians, arrested in Spain, have however been refused bail and will have to run their campaigns for Catalonia’s 21 December elections from jail.

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