Spain: Investigation launched into Franco’s crimes

By Paul Bond, 3 November 2008

Spain’s most prominent investigative judge has opened the country’s first criminal investigation into the executions and repression carried out by the fascist regime of General Francisco Franco.

IMF: Spain to be hit hard by recession

By Keith Lee and Paul Bond, 20 October 2008

A recent forecast by the IMF predicts Spain will enter recession next year and will be “harder-hit than other countries.”

The Spanish Civil War by Andy Durgan

Britain’s Socialist Workers Party lends credence to Stalinist line on Spanish Civil War—Part 2

By Ann Talbot, 17 September 2008

Andy Durgan, The Spanish Civil War: Studies in European History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007: New York, New York)

The Spanish Civil War by Andy Durgan

Britain’s SWP lends credence to Stalinist line on Spanish Civil War—Part 1

By Ann Talbot, 16 September 2008

Andy Durgan, The Spanish Civil War (New York, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). The Spanish Civil War generates a massive body of historical work every year. This book stands out and merits attention because Andy Durgan is associated with the British Socialist Workers Party.

Madrid plane crash: Pilot’s union warned months before that cut-backs placing passengers at risk

By Marcus Morgan, 23 August 2008

After the worst Spanish air tragedy in 25 years on Wednesday, accident investigators have begun examining the wreckage of the plane that crashed at Madrid’s Barajas airport, killing 153 passengers. Just 19 passengers have survived the crash, 5 of whom are said to be in a critical condition, with horrific injuries. The captain and co-pilot are confirmed among the dead.

Spain: Economy slumps as unemployment hits ten year high

By Paul Stuart, 19 August 2008

News that the 15-member euro zone has recorded its first-ever contraction will put greater pressure on an already ailing Spanish economy.

Spain: Socialist government turns on immigrants as economy heads for recession

By Paul Mitchell, 4 August 2008

Spain’s Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government is turning on the country’s immigrant population as the economy heads towards recession. The PSOE administration headed by Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero was once regarded as Europe’s most liberal, left-leaning administration, but it today allies itself with the most right wing elements in the European Union (EU). One could go further and say Zapatero and his ministers are now leading the xenophobic pack.

Spanish government uses tragedy of African boat people to strengthen anti-immigration policies

By Paul Stuart, 22 July 2008

Once again, Spain has been gripped by horrific images of boats drifting from Africa to its shores overflowing with the traumatized and exhausted bodies of migrant workers lying motionless amongst the dead. It is estimated that over the last few years up to 3,000 migrants have died en route to Spain. But this year Francisco Vicente, the head of the Red Cross in the Spanish port of Almería declared that, “In five years, this is the worst I have ever seen.”

Spain: Popular Party right-wing rejects “turn to the centre”

By Paul Stuart and Paul Mitchell, 5 July 2008

The right-wing of Spain’s Popular Party (PP) has rejected the “turn to the centre” endorsed at the June 20-22 party conference in Valencia. A significant and influential section of the party, grouped around president of the Madrid region, Esperanza Aguirre, and backed by former PP Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, has launched a struggle to undermine the decision and unseat Mariano Rajoy who was re-elected PP leader by conference delegates. The conservative paper El Mundo described the period leading up to the conference as “the darkest 100 days in Popular Party history.”

Spain: Prime Minister Zapatero lashes out at European Central Bank

By Keith Lee, 5 July 2008

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has lashed out at the European Central Bank (ECB) and its president Jean Claude Trichet.

Spain: The Popular Party begins to fracture

By Vicky Short and Paul Stuart, 20 June 2008

Spain’s right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP) is engulfed in a bitter internal political as today’s three-day national conference begins.

Spain’s “water wars”: A scramble for essential resources

By Paul Bond, 28 April 2008

Disputes between Spain’s autonomous regions are escalating over the country’s ongoing water crisis. Government officials describe the present drought as the worst in a century. What has been dubbed a “water war” has exposed the inability of capitalism to organise essential resources.

Housing slump hits Spain

By Keith Lee, 21 April 2008

The clearest indication of the impact of the global credit crunch is the sharp slowdown in the housing sector. The housing slump in Spain is particularly sharp.

Spain: Socialist Party wins a second term in government

By Paul Mitchell, 12 March 2008

The Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) led by José Luis Zapatero has won a second term in government, receiving 44 percent of the vote compared to the opposition right-wing Popular Party’s 40 percent. The PSOE now has 169 seats in the 350-seat parliament, 5 more than in 2004. The PP has 154 seats, adding 6.

Political instability and social struggles will follow Spain’s general election

By Paul Mitchell, 8 March 2008

Latest polls suggest the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) led by current Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero is just 1.5 percentage points ahead of Mariano Rajoy’s opposition right-wing Popular Party (PP) in tomorrow’s parliamentary election. Neither side looks likely to win an absolute majority in the legislature and will probably need to reach an agreement with smaller parties in order to form a government.

Spain: United Left splits as it lurches further right

By Vicky Short, 6 March 2008

The United Left (Izquierda Unida—IU) coalition is splitting apart, with warring factions of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) competing for supremacy.

Kosovo independence fuels regionalist divisions in Spain

By Paul Bond, 27 February 2008

Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia has dramatically worsened tensions in Spanish domestic politics, fuelling an already volatile situation ahead of next month’s general election. The declaration of independence has encouraged the drive towards separatism within many of Spain’s constituent regions, increasing the possibility of the balkanisation of larger parts of Europe.

Spain: Government tries to ban Basque separatist parties from election

By Paul Bond, 20 February 2008

In the run-up to next month’s general election, the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) is making clear moves to appease right-wing voters. Even the party’s closest media supporters in the newspaper El Pais note the similarities between campaigns of the PSOE and the right-wing Popular Party (PP).

Spanish economy dominates election

By Keith Lee, 12 February 2008

With the Spanish election just under two months away, the two main political parties have made the economy central to their election manifestoes.

Spain: Catholic Church renews offensive against abortion rights

By Paul Stewart, 6 February 2008

The PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) has removed the extension of abortion rights in its manifesto for the March national elections.

Spain: Socialist Party capitulates to right wing anti-abortionists

By Paul Stuart, 5 January 2008

At a December 28 press conference, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero finally ruled out including in the Socialist Workers Party of Spain (PSOE) manifesto for next March’s general election the decriminalisation and extension of abortion rights beyond the 1985 criteria established after the fall of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.

Spain: 16-year-old murdered by fascist

By Vicky Short, 8 December 2007

Violent social and political conflicts have exploded in Spain’s main towns, following the passing of the Law of Historical Memory by the Spanish Congress last month. The Law officially condemns the mass executions and other crimes carried out during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco (1939-1975) that followed The conflicts have already claimed several victims, one fatal, and provoked pitched battles between police and anti-fascist demonstrators. Several youth have been stabbed by neo-Nazi and racist thugs, and beaten up and imprisoned by the police.

Royal visit revives tensions between Spain and Morocco

By Marcus Morgan and Paul Bond, 6 December 2007

A royal visit by King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia to the disputed Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the coast of Morocco elicited a sharp rebuke from the Moroccan government. The enclaves are the oldest remnants of Spanish colonial territory in North Africa, and remained under Spanish control when Morocco gained its independence.

New law condemning Franco’s crimes further polarises Spain

By Paul Stuart and Paul Mitchell, 21 November 2007

Spain’s Congress recently passed the Law of Historical Memory, which for the first time officially condemns the mass executions and other crimes carried out during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco (1939-1975) that followed.

Madrid bombing convictions despite flimsy evidence

Informant gave advance warning to Civil Guard

By Paul Bond, 7 November 2007

The sentences handed down at the culmination of the Madrid train bombing trial have served to underscore its political character.

Spain: Arrests of Batasuna leadership by Socialist Party ahead of elections

By Paul Bond, 25 October 2007

With the arrest earlier this month of most of the leadership of the Basque separatist party Batasuna, the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has made a clear pitch for a right-wing vote ahead of next year’s election.

Spain: Revelations of obscene wealth inherited by former dictator Franco’s family

By Vicky Short, 2 October 2007

Widespread anger has erupted in Spain over revelations regarding the massive wealth inherited by the family of former dictator General Francisco Franco. The revelations are coupled with stories of the degenerate and decadent lifestyles of the Francos—one of the richest families in Spain.

Scientists warn Spain could see mass spread of deserts

By David O’Rourke, 28 August 2007

Several recent scientific reports have warned of the enormous environmental problems that Spain faces as a result of pollution, coastline development, and global warming.

Delphi’s exit from Spain to be followed by other relocations

By Marcus Morgan, 8 August 2007

Following the announcement in February that the Delphi-owned Puerto Real factory in Cadiz would be closed due to unprofitable operating costs, the automotive parts manufacturer has left Spain with a severance deal of 120 million euros (US$163 million) for the 1,600 workers left jobless. Workers voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer negotiated between the unions and the company.

Catholic Church to construct monument to clergy killed during Spanish Civil War

By Paul Stuart, 6 August 2007

Valencia City Hall, controlled by the right-wing Popular Party (PP), has granted the Catholic Church the right to build a new church covering 3,000 square metres, topped with a 28-metre-high bell tower, in the former dockside warehouse district of El Grau.

Spain: ETA ceasefire collapses as Zapatero government seeks unity with Popular Party

By Paul Mitchell, 10 July 2007

On June 6, the Basque separatist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna—Basque Homeland and Freedom) formally announced the end of its “permanent ceasefire” in Spain. The ceasefire had been announced on March 24, 2006, halting ETA’s 38-year military campaign of bombings and shootings that resulted in the deaths of 800 people.

Spanish property boom ends amidst share panic

By Keith Lee, 14 June 2007

Spanish property values took a massive hammering recently, as fears grew that the market boom had ended. Amidst panic amongst investors and property developers, some companies saw large percentages of their share price wiped out in a few hours.

Spain: Socialist Party government and unions sell out struggle against Delphi plant closure

By Marcus Morgan and Paul Mitchell, 31 May 2007

The US-based auto-parts supplier Delphi is to close its Puerto Real factory in Cádiz in the Andalucía region of Spain, making 1,600 workers redundant. Thousands of families could be directly affected by the job losses, as well as dozens of smaller businesses dependent on the plant.

An exchange on the Spanish Civil War: Socialism or a bourgeois republic?

11 April 2007

Below we publish an email from a reader and a reply by WSWS writer Ann Talbot. (See “Eric Hobsbawm on the Spanish Civil War: an anti-historical tirade” and “Introductory remarks by World Socialist Web Site correspondent at Madrid congress on Spanish Civil War”)

Spanish Judge calls for architects of Iraq invasion to be tried for war crimes

By Vicky Short, 27 March 2007

Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge who sought to prosecute Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, has called for US President George W. Bush and his allies to be tried for war crimes over Iraq.

The Madrid bombing trial: what has been revealed so far

By Paul Bond, 24 March 2007

On the third anniversary of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people, the trial of those accused of planning and perpetrating the atrocity has become a focus for bitter political divisions within Spain.

Eric Hobsbawm on the Spanish Civil War: an anti-historical tirade

By Ann Talbot, 16 March 2007

Eric Hobsbawm recently wrote an article in the Guardian about the Spanish Civil War, partly in memory of the 70th anniversary of that war, and partly to trail his forthcoming book Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism.

Thousands of African migrants drown trying to reach Europe

By Vicky Short, 4 January 2007

The year 2006 closed with yet another in a long list of tragedies suffered by African migrants seeking refuge in Europe. More than 100 people from Senegal drowned on December 15, in the open seas, when the flimsy boat (cayuco) in which they were travelling in an attempt to emigrate via the Canary Islands was shipwrecked. Another 25 were rescued by fishermen near Saint-Louis.

Introductory remarks by World Socialist Web Site correspondent at Madrid congress on Spanish Civil War

By our reporter, 11 December 2006

A three-day conference was held in Madrid between November 27 and 29 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War. An account of the meeting, “Congress held in Madrid on 70th anniversary of Spanish Civil War,” can be read at here.

Spain: Socialist Party government betrays victims of Franco’s dictatorship

By Paul Stuart, 4 December 2006

On November 16, the human rights group Amnesty International issued its report on the Law for the Recovery of Historical Memory drafted by Spain’s Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government.

Congress held in Madrid on 70th anniversary of Spanish Civil War

By Bill Van Auken, 4 December 2006

The three-day congress held last week in Madrid on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War was one of the largest and most heavily attended academic and intellectual events in Spain in recent memory.

Spain: Amnesty International details abuse of migrants

By Marcus Morgan, 1 December 2006

A report published by Amnesty International details the worsening situation facing many migrants from the sub-Saharan African region at the hands of both the Moroccan and Spanish authorities.

WSWS correspondent to address international conference on the Spanish Civil War

24 November 2006

World Socialist Web Site correspondent Ann Talbot is to address the International Conference on the Spanish Civil War, in Madrid on November 27-29, 2006.

Spain: Popular Party attempts to wreck ETA ceasefire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 November 2006

Spain’s right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP) is attempting to wreck the ceasefire announced on March 24, 2006, by the Basque separatist group Euskadi ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom—ETA). The ceasefire was accompanied by a declaration of a permanent end to its 38-year military campaign of bombings and shootings that resulted in the death of 800 people.

Right-wing Popular Party attacks Spain’s leading judge

By Daniel O’Flynn and Vicky Short, 9 November 2006

A campaign has been mounted by the right-wing opposition Spanish Popular Party (PP) against the leading judge, Baltasar Garzón.

Tense takeover battle for Spain’s Endesa energy company

By John Vassilopoulos, 31 October 2006

The longstanding dispute over the takeover of Spanish energy company Endesa exploded again last week, after the European Commission sent the Spanish government a formal notice over the latter’s refusal to lift the conditions it imposed on the €27 billion takeover bid by German energy giant EON. A successful bid by EON, the world’s largest privately owned energy provider, would turn the company into the world’s biggest utility and allow it access through Endesa into Spain, Italy, France and Latin America.

Spanish protests demand affordable housing

By Marcus Morgan, 30 October 2006

Street demonstrations were held in major Spanish cities this month to protest the lack of affordable housing, especially for young people looking for a first home.

Spain: new capitulation by the Socialist Party to the Catholic Church

By Paul Stuart, 26 October 2006

On September 22, Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Vice President María Teresa Fernández de la Vega put the finishing touches on an agreement that continues state financing for the Catholic Church, despite the 1978 Spanish constitution formally separating church from state. Earlier Socialist Party President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gave his “full understanding and support” to Pope Benedict XVI, whose September 12 speech in Germany asserted that Christianity was based on reason, whereas Islam was spread by violent means.

Marbella construction scandal exposes endemic criminality of Spanish capitalism

By John Vassilopoulos, 17 October 2006

The surfacing of a number of corruption scandals linked to the construction industry in Spain has revealed the outright criminality that lay at the heart of the country’s recent economic boom.

Spain: Government seeks European clampdown on Canary Islands boat people

By Paul Mitchell and Keith Lee, 13 October 2006

The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government is answering the plight of the impoverished boat people sailing from Africa to the Canary Islands with more repressive measures. Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government is demanding the European Union (EU) help increase surveillance and naval patrols to intercept the boat people and pressuring African leaders to agree to their repatriation.

Play on Lorca staged in Madrid in face of right-wing protests

By Paul Bond, 12 October 2006

A play dealing with the last hours of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, leading up to his murder by the fascist Falangists, has finally been staged in Madrid, for one performance only.

Construction slowdown threatens Spain’s economic boom

By John Vassilopulos, 19 September 2006

Economists are predicting a slowdown in Spain’s construction industry in 2007, which has been at the heart of the country’s decade-long economic boom. They warned that unless the disproportionate role the construction sector occupies in the economy is addressed, “Spain may soon be on track for economic mediocrity.”

Spain: “Law of historical memory” continues cover-up of Franco’s crimes

By Paul Stuart, 11 September 2006

Spain’s Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government has declared 2006 the Year of Historical Memory and has submitted a “law of historical memory” to the country’s Congress for ratification. For the first time the mass killings committed by General Francisco Franco’s fascist regime (1939-1975) are described as “unjust.”

Spain: A decade of economic boom and stagnant wages

By Paul Mitchell, 30 August 2006

By all accounts, Spain has experienced an economic boom over the last decade. It has “continued its prolonged economic expansion” (International Monetary Fund) and “weathered the international slowdown” (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) making it “one of Europe’s best-performing economies” (Economist magazine).

Spain defies European Commission on energy company sell-off

By John Vassilopoulos, 26 August 2006

The €27 billion takeover bid by German energy giant EON for Spain’s energy company Endesa has again brought Madrid into conflict with the European Commission. In a letter to the Spanish government on August 3, the European Commission raised serious concerns over 19 conditions that Spain’s national energy commission (CNE) wants to impose on the deal, including the forced divestment of about 30 percent of the company’s generating capacity. The European Commission accuses the Spanish government of seeking to “disguise interference with the flow of capital.”

The Pope and the Catholic Church mobilise against the Spanish government

By Vicky Short, 1 August 2006

The Fifth World Meeting of Families took place in the seaside town of Valencia, Spain in the first week of July. The event provided Pope Benedict XVI with the perfect platform from which to attack the Socialist Party (PSOE) government’s social reforms, which include the legalization of same-sex marriage. The government has also made it easier for Spaniards to divorce, eased the ability to conduct stem-cell research, and halted a plan by the previous right-wing Popular Party (PP) government to make religion classes mandatory in public schools.

Spanish train line reopens before investigation into fatal accident begins

By Daniel O’Flynn, 31 July 2006

The death toll from Spain’s largest-ever train crash on July 3 reached 43, after a passenger died from his injuries early two weeks on. The driver, Joaquin Pardo Tejedor, was among the fatalities. One body has not yet been identified. Around 50 people were injured.

Spain: Life savings at risk over stamp fraud

By Marcus Morgan, 27 July 2006

The savings of hundreds of thousands of people are in jeopardy due to one of the largest fraud cases in Spanish history.

Spain: Unions agree to anti-working class labour reforms

By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 12 July 2006

Last year, Spanish unions threatened a “Winter of Discontent” when the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government announced proposals to reform labour laws to enable employers to dismiss workers more easily.

Amnesty report criticises Spain over human rights

By Vicky Short, 19 June 2006

Spain’s record on human rights is severely criticised in last month’s Amnesty International annual report, particularly over the treatment of immigrant women and children.

Spain: High-ranking police officers imprisoned for “illegal arrest” of right-wing Popular Party activists

By Vicky Short, 3 June 2006

On May 8, three magistrates from the Provincial Court of Madrid imposed jail sentences on Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Ruiz Martinez, 55, Chief Inspector Javier Fernandez Gomez, 52, and Inspector Jose Luis Gonzalez Salgueiro, 56.

Energy policies bringing Spain into conflict with European Commission

By Daniel O’Flynn, 2 May 2006

The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice for its protectionist energy policies. The EC has determined that Spanish legislation limiting the voting rights of investors in state companies in the energy industry is in breach of European regulations guaranteeing the free movement of capital.

The ETA ceasefire, the Catalan Statute and the fracturing of Spain—Part 2

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part article explaining the recent moves to greater regional autonomy in Spain. Part 1 was published on April 17.

The ETA ceasefire, the Catalan Statute and the fracturing of Spain—Part 1

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 2006

This is the first of a two-part article explaining the recent moves to greater regional autonomy in Spain.

Spain: Bomb threats and funding cuts follow theatre show

By Paul Bond, 28 March 2006

Responses to a theatre show by comedian Leo Bassi indicate the escalation of right-wing clerical reaction in Spanish politics. The cutting of government subsidies to a theatre festival that staged the show is the latest in a sequence of attacks that has seen theatres picketed and attempts made to bomb auditoriums.

Seventy years since the Spanish Civil War

Right wing attempts to rehabilitate Franco

Part Three

By Paul Mitchell and Vicky Short, 16 March 2006

This is the conclusion of a three-part series on the Spanish civil war. Part one was posted on March 13 and part two on March 14.

Seventy years since the Spanish Civil War

Right wing in Spain attempts to rehabilitate Franco

Part Two

By Paul Mitchell and Vicky Short, 14 March 2006

This is the second of a three-part series. Part one was posted March 13.

Seventy years since the Spanish Civil War

Right wing in Spain attempts to rehabilitate Franco

Part One

By Paul Mitchell and Vicky Short, 13 March 2006

This is the first of a three-part series

Spain: 1981 coup leader accuses Socialist Party government of national betrayal

By Paul Stuart, 22 February 2006

In late January, former Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina published a letter denouncing the Socialist Party (PSOE) government for betraying Spain.

Spain: Ban on Basque separatist party extended

By Paul Bond, 4 February 2006

The Spanish High Court has renewed its legal ban on the Basque separatist party Batasuna. The decision prompted a demonstration in the Basque region called in defence of “civil and political rights.”

Spain: More military threats against Zapatero government

By Paul Stuart, 28 January 2006

Further military threats have been made against the Socialist Party (PSOE) government in Spain. Following Spanish General Mena’s threat to deploy the military to oppose the passing of a statute granting greater autonomy to Catalonia, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has attempted to downplay the incident as the actions of a maverick. But the British Financial Times reported that Captain González of the notorious Legionnaires has now published a letter attacking Zapatero and describing widespread hostility in the military to the Catalan Statute which he says threatens the unity of the Spanish “fatherland.”

Spain: General calls for military intervention over Catalonia

By Paul Stewart, 16 January 2006

On January 7, Lieutenant-General Jose Mena Aguado, the commander of Spain’s 50,000 ground troops, threatened military intervention should the Socialist Party (PSOE) government pass a statute giving the Catalan autonomous government status as a “nation,” together with control over the region’s taxes and the judicial system. Mena denounced the Catalan Statute as a threat to Spain’s territorial integrity.

Spain: Auto unions agree redundancies at SEAT

By Daniel O’Rourke and Paul Mitchell, 28 December 2005

After months of talks and a series of militant strikes, unions at Volkswagen’s Spanish subsidiary have agreed to hundreds of redundancies. Some 686 workers will lose their jobs at SEAT, which employs about 16,000 autoworkers, mainly at the Martorell complex in Barcelona.

Spain’s largest trial targets Basque separatist ETA

By Paul Stuart, 12 December 2005

On November 21, the largest trial in Spanish history began at Madrid’s Casa de Campo. The repressive measures deployed over the last seven years to prepare this trial represent a fundamental assault on basic democratic political freedoms.

Spain: labour reforms threaten “winter of discontent”

By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 21 November 2005

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government is pressing ahead with planned labour reforms. The trade unions are seeking to smooth the way for this by bringing to an end several nationwide strikes, including the explosive miners’ strike.

Basque separatist leader faces jail for “insulting” the king

By Paul Stuart, 19 November 2005

In a major attack on the right to free speech the Spanish Supreme Court has sentenced Arnaldo Otegi, spokesman for the outlawed Basque party Batasuna and a former deputy, to 12 months in jail for allegedly slandering King Juan Carlos. This overturned a decision last March of the Basque High Court that Otegi’s remarks were not slanderous, but protected by the constitutional right to free speech.

Spain: refugees killed, survivors abandoned in Moroccan desert

By Paul Stuart, 22 October 2005

For weeks European television news reports have showed images of bloody and battered migrants attempting to scale the militarized fence separating Morocco from the Spanish colonial outposts of Ceuta and Melilla. Five were shot to death while trying to scale the border fence to get into Ceuta and six more died in “clashes” with Moroccan and Spanish security forces in Melilla.

Spanish court convicts 18 alleged Al Qaeda members

By Vicky Short, 10 October 2005

The largest trial of suspects alleged to be involved in the 9/11 bombings ended in Spain on September 26. A three-judge panel of the Spanish High Court handed down sentences of between 6 and 27 years imprisonment to 18 of the 24 accused.

Young African workers killed in Spanish enclave

By Keith Lee, 3 October 2005

At least six people have died in recent days trying to climb over the six-metre fences surrounding the tiny Spanish town of Ceuta.

Catholic Church steps up campaign to oust Spanish government

By Paul Stuart, 19 September 2005

The Catholic Church is using the network of Catholic family organizations known as Concapa to broaden its campaign to oust the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government and return the right-wing Popular Party to power.

Banned Basque demonstration attacked by police

By Paul Bond, 25 August 2005

Around 20 people were injured when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a demonstration in the Basque city of San Sebastian on Sunday, August 14. The demonstration was called by the Basque separatist party Batasuna.

Banned Basque demonstration attacked by police

By Paul Bond, 24 August 2005

Around 20 people were injured when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a demonstration in the Basque city of San Sebastian on Sunday, August 14. The demonstration was called by the Basque separatist party Batasuna.

Spain: Guardia Civil beat farm labourer to death

By Vicky Short, 22 August 2005

In an August 10 letter to the Spanish authorities, Amnesty International (AI) has asked for “a full, thorough and independent investigation” into the events that led to the death of a farm labourer while in custody at the headquarters of the Civil Guard in Roquetas de Mar (Almeria).

Spain: Vatican intensifies campaign against Socialist Party government

By Paul Stuart, 16 July 2005

Spain’s Catholic Church has organised a series of demonstrations against the Socialist Party (PSOE) government’s legalization of homosexual marriage. The largest of these took place on June 18 in Madrid.

Household debt soars in Spain

By Keith Lee, 12 July 2005

The financial debt of Spanish households has soared, according to the Bank of Spain. Household debt rose above disposable income for the first time in 2004, up from just over half in 1997. Borrowing in Spain has tripled in eight years, rising from €200 billion ($240 billion) in 1996 to reach record levels of €595 billion—equal to 74.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Spain: Popular Party loses control of its heartland

By Paul Bond, 5 July 2005

Recent regional elections in the north-western province of Galicia have dealt another blow to the right-wing Popular Party (PP). In its fourth consecutive election defeat since being removed from power nationally last March, the PP has lost control of Galicia for the first time since the region was granted autonomous status in 1981.

EU budget debacle leaves Spain isolated

By Mike Ingram and Vicky Short, 2 July 2005

Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) government faces a grave foreign and domestic policy dilemma in the wake of the European Union’s failure to agree on a 2007-2013 budget at its June 18 summit.

Basque parliamentary negotiations strengthen regionalism

By Paul Bond, 21 June 2005

Some six weeks since the Basque regional elections, horse-trading continues over the formation of a new regional parliament. Various nationalist groups are jockeying for position within the coalition, and parliamentary regulations are being amended to accommodate their manoeuvrings. Even the president of the main nationalist party, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), has warned that regional politics could become a “quagmire.”

Spain: National talks break down as big business demands offensive on wages

By Paul Mitchell, 22 January 2005

National wage talks in Spain have broken down as big business demands an offensive against workers’ wages and conditions. The talks have collapsed over proposals to index the minimum wage (Salario Minimo Interprofesional, SMI) to inflation. The SMI is currently 490 euros a month ($636)—about 35 per cent of the average wage—and is paid to half a million workers. It has an important indirect effect on setting nationally agreed pay rates, social security benefits and pensions.

Spain: Popular Party seeks to destabilise Socialist Party government

By Paul Stuart, 11 January 2005

In the months since the Spanish people voted José María Aznar’s Popular Party (PP) government out of office, its leaders have sought to discredit and destabilise the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, using the methods of political provocation.

Spain: Madrid Commission confirms conspiracy of lies used to justify Iraq War

By Paul Mitchell, 29 December 2004

Evidence presented to the commission investigating the train bombings on March 11 in Madrid in which 191 people died and 1,700 others were injured confirms that a conspiracy of lies was used to justify the Iraq war and deceive the Spanish people.

Spain’s foreign minister claims Aznar government supported Venezuela coup

By Keith Lee, 10 December 2004

Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has refused to retract his claims that the former Popular Party (PP) government under the leadership of Jose Maria Aznar supported the coup that temporarily ousted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias in 2002.

The Madrid bomb inquiry: Aznar continues his lies

By Paul Mitchell, 4 December 2004

Spain’s former prime minister José María Aznar continues to lie about the Madrid commuter train bombings on March 11, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,700 others.

Al Jazeera journalist among 10 jailed in Spain

By Mike Ingram, 3 December 2004

Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer Alouni was among 10 people jailed by a Spanish court on November 19 for suspected links to Al Qaeda.

Spain seeks to appease Bush

By Paul Mitchell and Paul Bond, 23 November 2004

Spain’s political establishment is in turmoil following the presidential victory of George W. Bush.

Accusations of Spanish involvement in coup highlight instability in Guinea

By Paul Bond, 8 November 2004

Allegations of involvement in an aborted coup against the former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea earlier this year continue to be levelled against the Spanish government. Last month, Miguel Abia Biteo Borico, the prime minister of Equatorial Guinea, told the General Assembly of the United Nations that Spanish warships had sailed to join the coup with the approval of the then Popular Party (PP) government of José Maria Aznar. Borico appealed to the UN to adopt measures to prevent such coups in the future.

Spain’s draft budget presages escalating social conflict

By Paul Bond, 27 October 2004

When Economy Minister Pedro Solbes presented his draft budget proposals for next year to the Spanish Congress, he described them as “squaring the circle” through “creating more employment by being more productive.” The resort to such rhetoric sums up the problem faced by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Spain pressured to strengthen border with North Africa

By Keith Lee, 22 October 2004

The Spanish Socialist Party government has come under increasing pressure from the European Union (EU) to crack down on illegal immigrants and strengthen its border with North Africa.

Spain: Socialist Party government moves to rehabilitate Francoite fascists

By Paul Stuart and Vicky Short, 20 October 2004

Former members of the Francoite fascist Blue Division were invited to this year’s National Day military parade by Spain’s recently elected Socialist Party (PSOE) government. This is an unprecedented political act since Spain became a parliamentary monarchy at the death of the dictator General Franco in 1975. The fascist veterans were given a place of pride as they solemnly followed King Juan Carlos to lay a wreath for all those who died “for Spain”.

More terror arrests in Spain, but still no evidence presented

By Vicky Short, 18 October 2004

On September 15 ten Pakistan nationals were arrested in Barcelona and are now being held in Madrid’s Soto del Real prison under the orders of Judge Ismael Moreno.