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Spain: General Strike After Only 100 Days of Government

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

Following cuts in social services, education, research and development, health, renewable energy, and above all, the targeting of workers by the new Labour Reform [es], which facilitates worker's dismissal and weakens their rights while helping employers, the main Spanish unions have called for a general strike today, March 29, 2012, (29M), with the aim of paralyzing the country and forcing the government to back down on implementing these measures.

Faced with high levels of unemployment, with more than 5,000,000 Spaniards currently out of work, the government is introducing deregularising measures, which, as has already been seen in Ireland, are not giving the promised results.

Groups linked to the #15M, the most prominent Spanish social movement [es] in recent times, are also supporting the general strike, giving it a more inclusive [es] appearance and thus mitigating the “poor image” [es] which the unions have acquired in recent years. These collectives are calling for the 99% to strike [es], and are appealing for citizens to self-organize.

All of these calls to action can be viewed on the following interactive map [es]:

It is possible to track the general strike using data on the demand for electricity across the country [es], the theory is that if demand falls, the strike will have attracted a greater number of participants.  A consumption strike has also been called in which citizens are urged not to consume on the day of the strike, a proposal whose success and participation will become evident throughout the coming days. Here is a video on the call for consumers to strike [es]:

In the first few hours of the strike on March 29, there have already been several confrontations between piquetes (groups of people who make sure that nobody enters the workplace) and workers and riot police, who as usual, wear no visible signs of identification. Here we can see how the representative of the Andalucian parliament, José Antonio Castro, condemns this practice [es]:

This afternoon and evening, massive demonstrations have been called all over the country, and we will continue to provide information on the day's events. You can also follow the general strike on Twitter using the hashtag #enhuelga [es].

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

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