Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist)
Raul Marco

Rajoy says that we are out of the crisis...

"Oh, unhappy Spain! Country of darkness, of fire and horror!"

(Garcia Lorca)

These sad words were written by the poet shortly before he was killed by Falangists hordes. Today, in the fall of 2015, before the degrading spectacle of politicians, many politicians and of slightly different stripes, corrupt, phonies, liars and prevaricators, what would Garcia Lorca say?

Probably the general elections will take place in December. And the campaign has already unofficially begun for these elections. A campaign that as usual, perhaps more than usual, will start with promises of how well things will be if this or that one is the winner. From Rajoy to the last of the candidates, they know that they are not going to fulfill their promises, that it is impossible to do so in a country in debt to the core, where tax fraud places Spain at the head of Europe. In fraud, unemployment and robbery organized by certain political leading circles –we will not mention names, we may be charges with libel – we are the first, in a tie, it seems to me, with the unfortunate Greeks. In this and in squandering money from the treasury which is always public, do not forget this. In this regard, the economist Martin Seco recalled a well-argued article a few weeks ago, contradicting those who state that government spending is the cause of the situation:

"Given the hegemony of economic neoliberalism in today's society, it is often assumed that only those resources that go to the private sector are profitable and that it is only that sector that can really create jobs. The increase in the number of public employees is considered a kind of extravagance or waste with no practical use from an economic point of view. One cannot deny that in many cases they were able to squander public money, but doesn’t the private sector do the same thing? It is recent and we are still suffering the consequences of the thousands of millions of euros that the builders, the developers and the banks have buried in the bricks without any use." (J.F. Martin Seco, Contrapunto [Counterpoint], August 14, 2015.)

It turns out that yes, Spain is at the head of Europe in terms of fraud, and we are at the tail of Europe in resources for tax administration, behind Italy, France, Britain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, etc.

As in every capitalist crisis, we know that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This great truth is being demonstrated again in the current crisis, yes it is a general one, but it strikes hardest at the poorest. In the case of Spain, unfortunately for some, it has not ceased to be of "racket and tambourine [tourist Spain]..." as portrayed by A. Machado. There is a growing number of millionaires, some forty thousand more since the crisis began (that is, those who have at least one million euros). And as money does not grow in the gardens like potatoes or tomatoes, one does not have to refer to Marx to know where the millions come from.

The current situation in Spain shows a situation verging on the dramatic. The facts and figures speak for themselves. Last year, in 2014, there were 13.4 million people in poverty and social exclusion. That figure exceeded that of 2013 by 772,000, and is 3 million more than at the beginning of the crisis. The austerity measures imposed by the Troika of the EU have caused an increase in poverty of more than 65%. The European Commission has pointed out that Spain is the country in the EU with the greatest inequality of income. (For example: Last year the salaries of heads of large enterprises increased 30%, while wages fell 10%.) The banks, which received millions of euros from the public treasury, have declared that their profits were 17% higher than the previous year.

In 2014 the number of people suffering severe material deprivation has increased by 6.2% (the most affected are the immigrants and people with disabilities). "Severe poverty" (living on less than €307 per month) affects 6.4% of the population, that is, three million people, twice as many as in 2008.*

* Figures taken from, an article by Jose Oneto.

In our report to the Central Committee of the Party in June of this year, we put together some data from the Workers’ Commissions (CC.OO.) that complement what has been said before:

In the first quarter of this year, 2015, there were 5,444,600 unemployed people, of whom only 54.87% receive any kind of benefit or assistance.

In 2015, the number of young people between 16 and 19 who have a job is half the number of those who had one in 2008, according to the National Institute of Statistics..., the average wage of those under 30 years does not exceed €11,860 per year.... Nearly 600,000 young people have had to emigrate, which is a tragedy that the government camouflages crudely by describing it as "external mobility" to solve unemployment... It is a macabre joke. Add to what was said before is the statement of the Governor of the Bank of Spain supporting the further (!) decline in pensions that the troika is trying to impose. Again we turn to the economist J.F. Martin Seco:

"The most irrefutable proof of the falsity of the talk of the Government about the economic recovery and which is meant to compensate the citizens for the sacrifices demanded is found in one of the groups hardest hit these years, the pensioners, who began to lose their purchasing power that fateful May when Zapatero,* without any reason, surrendered completely to Merkel. The budget that the government has just introduced establishes an increase in pensions in 2016 of 0.25%, but since inflation, as forecast by the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] will be 1.4%, a further loss of purchasing power of more than 1% is predicted for this year. That is, for the moment pensions in real terms will decrease by more than 1%, a decrease that may even be higher if inflation is greater.

* Former Prime Minister, member of the social-democratic PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party].

“...To defend pensions one must demand that all state revenues (including contributions) should be funded at the necessary levels, but not to replace levies by taxes (such as by the VAT as the experts of the FEDEA [Foundation for the Study of Applied Economics] proposed), leaving benefits in the same degree of precariousness. The result would only shift the tax burden from employers to consumers, that is, to all citizens.

“Moreover, our level of contributions (13% of GDP) is below the average for the Eurozone (14%) and light years below that of countries like the Netherlands and Germany (17%) and France (19%), and even Greece slightly exceeds us.... The tax burden in Spain is eight points lower than the average of the Eurozone and of the European Union and it is below that of countries such as Greece, Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Malta, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Hungary and Slovenia, let alone Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria, France and Germany, and it is better not to mention Sweden and Denmark which are more than 15 points higher than ours. Can one say without causing a scandal that the pensions cannot be paid and that one has to reduce them?

“...For pensioners not only has there been no economic recovery, but it will never come because, according to the latest reform, they are condemned year after year to their benefits falling in real terms, that is, they are losing their purchasing power.... The most serious problem is that it does not seem that the opposition parties, even the new ones, have the slightest intention of changing the law passed by the PP [People’s Party] and returning to the previous one. No one is making such a proposal. At best there is a slight and vague promise to improve the minimum pensions (except the private ones of the top executives) and the liwest pensions in the future."* (Our emphases.)

* Martin Seco “Poverty Pensions” (August 14, 2015).

Let us remember that the tax system in Spain is set up in such a way that it benefits the big fortunes, those who have the most, and impoverishes the majority, that is, the workers, poor peasants, petty bourgeoisie, in short, all the popular sectors. A tax system that, in many cases, which in general has to do with the big fortunes, makes concessions to those, even when financial deficits and many other forms of manipulation appear.

In our newspaper October for the month of August, we pointed out that the tax reform approved in June reduces taxes on large companies from 30% to 25% (in some cases to 20%); the tax on the highest incomes is reduced from 52% to 45% (as always, those who have more pay less). And on top of this despicable shamelessness, the speculators and big financiers still rely on the SICAV (a speculative tool imposed by the big capitalists and enterprises) to avoid the tax authorities and pay tax only 1%. No, this is not a mistake, it is just 1%.

The picture, needless to say, is ominous enough to recall the judgment of the poet C. Alvarez: "To find such hard times we have to go back to the years to come."

Despite this situation, which is so brutal for the working class, the laboring people and other popular classes, including the petty bourgeoisie of which some sectors are becoming conscious of the fact that the oligarchy does not defend their interests, but quite the contrary, the leaders of the parties such as the "People’s" Party (which harbors the remnants of Francoism and some of the extreme right) led today by Rajoy, and previously by the sinister Aznar (the faithful ass-lickers* of Bush II); the Spanish "Socialist Workers" Party (PSOE), and others in the different nationalities and autonomous regions of Spain, are already dividing up the goodies and promising measures impossible to implement, falsifying data or distorting it, swearing up and down and contradicting themselves five minutes later without the least blush or shame.

* I was going to write “boot-lickers,” but the DRAE [Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy] does not recognize that term, while it does recognize “ass-lickers” as a sycophantic and servile person.” I apologize to my Latin American brothers who do not like that word, which so well defines the type of people to whom I am referring.

The Prime Minister, Rajoy and his spokespersons along with those known as "journalists de pesebre” claim that the country is emerging from the crisis thanks to his government (forgetting any mention of the cuts and austerity measures imposed by the Troika) and they even say that we are outperforming the other EU countries. Of course they do not say that what we are outperforming the other EU countries in, and not just the EU countries, is in unemployment, poverty, fraud, etc. etc. They do not care at all about facts or an analysis of the situation. They have made their tunic out of lies, and they will remain faithful to them even when they are confronted by the reality that, we repeat, they try to hide or distort with half-truths from which they make big lies.

In recent weeks Rajoy's government, using its absolute majority in parliament, has pushed through the budget for next year, despite opposition from all the other forces, which opposed the draft budget, logically since they are on the eve of elections (in which it is most likely that the PP and its cronies will lose their majority).

In the last elections in some of the autonomous regions, the PP has lost the municipalities of major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, etc. On taking over the administration of these municipalities and of some autonomous governments, the new teams, more or less of the left, have found themselves with tremendous debts, with falsified data, income that is not counted, exorbitant or unjustified. This is the case with the regional governments of Castile-La Mancha, Aragon, the Valencian Country, and others, who denounce the fact that the outgoing governments and mayors have left them with unpayable debts.

For example, the president of the Castile-La Mancha autonomous region, Dolores de Cospedal, also chair of the PP, has left her region with a debt of € 13,146,000 (in 2014 this debt was € 6,260,000). The budget prepared by this woman for next year, according to the experts, underestimated the expenses and inflated the revenue. Between May and June of this year (2015), the deficit soared from 0.41% to 0.84%, while Cospedal was still president.

For its part the Valencian Government has already announced that it cannot meet the target for the deficit set by the Ministry of Finance for this year because "the previous government of Alberto Fabra (PP) already reached a deficit of 0.7% in May." "The new government of the Valencian Country, after taking office, found that 81% of the budget had already been spent. The Ministry of Finance found expenses of € 280 million without budgetary provision and another € 400 million for health expenses recorded in an extra-budgetary account payable in the 2016 budget. To all this must be added the huge debt accumulated over the years of the PP government: € 37.615 million in the first quarter. The Valencian Community is the most indebted autonomous region in relative terms. It is 5 percentage points above Catalonia, the mist stifled region in absolute figures."("El País" August 28, 2015)

In this Community, Valencia, influence peddling, corruption, theft, etc. under the PP governments has been among the worst in Spain, which is saying something. The accusations against Mr. Camps, his protégées and the "alleged" crooks indicted in the Gürtel plot that led to the imprisonment of several of them and they are awaiting trial, have occurred over the years, without the Rajoy government paying attention.

Even more seriously, the government of Spain has been sending false, prefabricated figures to the European Union about the deficit in the Valencia Country for twenty years based on the manipulation of the accounts of the PP at the expense of public health and hiding bills in drawers. The EU has imposed a fine of € 19 million on Spain, and the Ministry of Finance has passed this fine on to the new Valencian government, along with the threat that if they do not pay the fine within two months, the Ministry of Finance (headed by a puffed-up bigwig, Cristobal Montoro), "the State will make a compensation, deduction or withholding charging the amounts to the imports paid to the Valencian Community." ("El País", September 17, 2015.)

The people who today make up the government of the Valencian Country (members of the Socialist Party of the Valencian Country, and the coalition "Compromis" [“Commitment”]) refuse to pay the fine, and they argue quite correctly, "We have nothing to do with it. The PP should pay the fine or the Government of Spain should find those responsible... but the Valencians do not have to pay for the accounting manipulation of others." (Ibid.) They insist that the present government of the Valencian Community, when it was in the opposition, for years denounced the lack of control and excesses in the public accounts, the scandalous waste, the perks and sinecures, carried out (presumably...) by known figures such as Zaplana, Camps, Fabra, Barbera, and their cronies, not to mention the champion rogue, Rafael Blasco. There is ample evidence in all of them in the published newspapers and books.

All this is only a pale reflection of this monarchic Spain by the will of Franco and his lackeys, careerists, opportunists of all stripes, renegades, and, let us give them the benefit of the doubt, those who approved the so-called transition because of political and ideological myopia . Some now realize and speak of the error of that maneuver, but facts are stubborn as always... as A. Machado said:

"Worse than seeing the dark reality, is not to see it."

September 30, 2015

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