Spain Is A Pressure Cooker About To Blow

August 22 (EIRNS)–As Spain careens toward social explosion in
September, the federal coordinator of the United Left coalition
(IU) announced that the IU rejects any EU bailout, insisting
instead that a debt audit be carried out to determine which debts
are legitimate, and which not. The announcement follows earlier
statements by other IU leaders that if the choice is between more
austerity and leaving the euro, better that Spain leave the euro.
Not surprisingly, the IU’s standing in the polls is rising.
Coordinator Cayo Lara, a deputy in the parliament, stated on
August 16 that the IU opposes Spain requesting any EU bailout,
because it would bring “more impoverishment, more unemployment
and more suffering for the people.” Why should Spain ask for aid
due to actions carried out “by financial speculators?” The public
debt and its interest should continue to be paid, but it is
necessary to carry out an audit to determine which part of the
debt is illegitimate, so as to “renegotiate” the payment of
interest, he said. “We want it to be renegotiated because part of
the debt is illegitimate. Illegitimate, in that the European
Central Bank, which is our bank, refuses to give resources to
government to pay the debt, but gives them to the banks at 1 or
0.75% so that they can speculate, and buy the countries’ debt,
making a great deal.”
The majority of the latest round of austerity measures
imposed by the government in exchange for the 100 billion EU bank
bailout agreed on last June, go into effect on Sept. 1. These
measures range from huge jumps in VAT taxes, to the denial of all
but the most minimal free public medical care to undocumented
immigrants (“illegals”). The latter has set sectors of the
medical community aflame, with over 1,300 family medicine doctors
nationwide, so far, have taken an “objector’s oath” to treat all
patients, regardless. One network of doctors, which set up a
website named “right to treat,” is organizing health care workers
to join immigrant organizations in protests on August 31 and
September 1. The governments of five autonomous communities
(Catalunya, Andalucia, Basque, Asturias and Valencia) say they
will not obey this regulation, either.
Facing revolt, government spokesmen announced this week that
the 400E a month emergency stipend for the long-term unemployed
will be extended when its mandate runs out Sept. 1, and it will
be raise to 450E for couples with two dependents, be they
children, parents, spouse, etc. Vice President Soraya Saenz de
Santamaria then specified that the increase will paid for by
REDUCING the number of people elegible to receive the stipend, by
imposing greater conditions on eligibility.

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