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Spain

United Left protests over bankers’ takeover of Spanish constitution

United Left today boycotted the traditional anniversary celebrations of Spain’s move to democracy in 1978 in protest at a “broken constitutional consensus”.

The communist-led party, whose deputies were absent from parliament when the 33rd anniversary was marked earlier on Tuesday, points the finger at the Socialists and Popular Party who paused election campaigning over the summer to introduce a “balanced budget” law.

This severely limits the parliament’s spending powers and puts the interests of bankers over the sovereign rights of the people, says United Left.

Spain’s largest two parties “refused to consult the citizens on an issue of major importance such the limit on the public deficit and explicitly prioritising the payment of the debt in the country’s Magna Carta,” the party said in a statement.

Unlike other important, “just and necessary” constitutional reforms, like changes to the electoral law demanded by the indignados movement but going nowhere fast, this one was passed rapidly and without difficulties.”

And yet the constitutional change,which effectively imports the EU’s Maastricht and Eurozone’s Stability Pact public deficit and the debt ceilings into the Spanish constitution, will “condition and condemn economic policies in our country, and as a result the future of our citizens.”

“The sovereignty of the Spanish people cannot be undermined or stolen in the interest of markets and financial speculators,” said the United Left, arguing that the constitutional reform sets a “grave precedent for the history of our democracy.”

“The constitutional consensus of 1978 has been broken with anxiety and perfidy by a moribund parliament and in a situation of crisis and unemployment that requires different decisions aimed at creating jobs and revitalising our democracy.

“The Socialists and Popular Party have achieved the opposite – more unemployment and more democratic precariousness.”

The United Left, which tripled its share of the vote to 7% in legislative elections last month that saw the right wing Popular party oust the socialists, says it will campaign for jobs and “a socially acceptable way out of the crisis that is in the interests of the majority.”

The party added that it will fight for a “constituent process” that will maintain the parliamentary monarchy and federal model while ensuring “effective and binding recognition of social rights like work housing education and health.”

On 6 December 1978 Spaniards voted to endorse a new constitution in a referendum that ended 40 years of dictatorship.

There is nothing to celebrate. They are feting what they violate every day.

Cayo Lara, United Left leader, telling MPs today why his party is boycotting the traditional celebrations in parliament of Spain’s return to democracy,

I won’t be celebrating a constitution betrayed by a bipartisan coup d’etat carried out on the orders of the behest of the European Central Bank

United Left’s former leader Gaspar Llamazares on Twitter Tuesday morning

More in El Pais article

United Left website

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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