PABLO IGLESIAS and other Podemos high-ups were political assessors to Venezuela before they entered Spanish politics.
Iglesias prefers to keep schtum about Venezuela these days, especially now that its president Nicolas Maduro refuses to accept the government party’s defeat in the December elections by the practically outlawed Opposition.
Podemos, unlike PP, PSOE, Ciudadanos, UPyD and PNV, recently avoided signing a Spanish manifesto in defence of Venezuelan democracy.
Presumably Iglesias, with 69 seats in Spain’s national parliament, feels that all parliamentary systems are equal, but some are less equal than others.
THE red lines that parties drew before December 20 were meant to reassure voters that post-election pacts would not endanger ideology or promises. Instead politicians have fenced themselves in and another general election was the spectre at more than one Christmas feast.
On the other side of those red lines lies the middle ground where negotiations could take place but instead it has been turned into a barren and unoccupied no man’s land.
PABLO IGLESIAS backs a Cataluña independence referendum, making him untouchable for any potential pact-seeker. Not long ago he scornfully suggested that a PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos coalition “is the preferred scenario” of German chancellor Angela Merkel, the Ibex 35 (Spain’s Footsie 100) and the Head of State.
Is that such a bad thing, compared with the present horse-trading and showboating for which Iglesias is largely responsible?
Santiago Carrillo, the now deceased Communist leader, allegedly did in five years what Franco couldn’t manage in 36. In other words, he scuppered the Partido Comunista de España once it was legalised during the Transition.
Is Artur Mas, would-be president of Cataluña, doing Madrid’s job for it by failing to scrape up support for his investiture?
There will always be secessionists in Cataluña but despite national fear of an in-out referendum, less than half the Catalan population share Mas’s ambitions.
Without him in the Palau de la Generalitat palace the independence faction will be divided and undisciplined and prone to implode with no outside help.