THE victory of anti-austerity party Syriza in the Greek General Election has given Spain’s equivalent a boost.
Podemos, which like the Greek party is a new radical, left-wing organisation with a spend, spend, spend plan, hailed the outcome from yesterday’s (Sunday, January 25) election as bringing hope to the country.
Podemos’ leader, Pablo Iglesias, said: “Hope is coming, fear is fleeing… We will win.”
The Greek party fell just two seats short of an outright victory, and has formed a coalition government with Independent Greeks on a platform of renegotiating the terms of an EU bailout that saved the country from bankruptcy.
Podemos, like Syriza, is opposed to the austerity measures put in place over the last few years to bring public debt under control.
With elections coming up in Spain this year, Podemos has come from nowhere to become a major player in Spanish politics with huge popular support. Whether that will be translated into seats remains to be seen.
Iglesias said: “Syriza’s victory shows the inefficiency of austerity policies.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy meanwhile urged voters to go for the known rather than gamble on a new party which is an unknown quantity. He said: “We cannot bet our and our children’s future on a frivolous game of Russian roulette.”
Podemos was formed in early 2014 and immediately picked up five seats in the May 2014 European elections.
Now it is topping polls with the election looming and giving the traditional conservative Partido Popular and socialist PSOE a headache.