PABLO IGLESIAS, leader of Spanish radical left party, Podemos, made a promise on Tuesday October 6 to put into practice a pragmatic programme if his party wins the general election at the end of the year.
Speaking to AFP, Iglesias addressed the wider European picture and targeted the Socialist President of France, Francois Hollande, saying he is “cowardly” for allowing Germany too strong a hand in European affairs.
Podemos is looking to regain momentum after the coalition it was part of finished fourth in the recent Catalonia election. The debate around Catalan independence was the focus of that campaign and it didn’t leave much space for Podemos’ message on dealing with corruption, austerity and economic inequality.
“We are going to fight until the end to say something that most people in this country understand: We must remove corrupt officials from institutions, we must govern differently, we must defend social rights,” said Iglesias.
Iglesias ruled out the idea of an alliance with Spain’s other far left parties including United Left or Izquierda Unida. The party is instead focusing on “expansionary policies that guarantee social rights, that allow workers to consume more, better negotiate their work conditions and reduce the age of retirement.”
The Podemos leader also spoke about “a Europe dominated by Germany and (why) this is bad news for Southern Europeans.”
“France has given up a relationship of equals with Germany which is why I use the word ‘cowardly’ to define a president who has not dared to put limits on Angela Merkel,” Iglesias said.