Thousands of students have taken to the streets in Spain today against further cuts to the education budget in the country. This is part of a week of protests, which will culminate tomorrow when the students will be joined by striking teachers from every phase of education as well as parents. As well as protesting against the cuts to education - whose budget has already been cut by a third since 2010 - the demonstrators are also protesting against the LOMCE - a bill which brings in a whole raft of neo-liberal reforms:  standardised testing, privatisation, local management of schools and segregation into vocational and academic streams in secondary school. The last measure is meant to address the problem of massive youth unemployment in Spain, where over 55% of young people are unemployed.  Moreover subjects such as history and geography which provide an opportunity for critical thinking will cease to be obligatory and in all probability it will be those on the so-called 'vocational' route who will miss out.

Fees are also being increased for students, which will make it impossible for some of them to finish their course. This is only the latest phase in a long struggle. As recently as last May there were mass demonstrations in 30 cities of students, striking teachers and parents. And even more recently there was a weeks long struggle in the Spanish Balearic Isles province, about similar reforms there and an attack on the local language.

Spain is one of the Eurozone countries which has been hit most badly by the crisis. The right wing government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is attempting to force through all the so-called 'austerity' measures - for which read cuts and neo-liberal resturcturing - demanded by the European Central Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. However there is huge resistance in the country, not least from teachers and students, which has only been fuelled by the financial scandals which are rocking the government at the moment.