Coming only two months after a general strike of 13 million workers in Italy, a strike of more than ten million workers in Spain on June 20 has demonstrated the resistance of European workers to the capitalist offensive.
The strike in Spain, which targeted proposed changes in unemployment insurance, brought workers into the streets. Some 500,000 marched in Madrid. Many picket lines were accompanied by cazerolas (pot-banging), made popular by the mass movement in Argentina.
Some 100,000 people also marched in Seville on June 23, capping three days of protests against the EU summit in that city. Large contingents from all over Europe participated.
The Spanish strike-like the Italian one in April-is an ill omen for the newly installed Chirac government in France-which is set to attempt to roll back gains that French workers have won in struggle.
In all three countries, rightist regimes have been able get into office because the working-class voters lost their patience with Social Democratic governments that simply carried out the bosses’ agenda.
Thus, rightist governments that took power through the default of the parliamentary left have aroused the workers to fight harder.