Spanish Far Left Takes Rajoy to Task for Catalan “Repression”

Pablo Iglesias accuses the prime minister of making the Catalan problem worse by refusing a referendum.

Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias listens to a speech in Barcelona, September 11
Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias listens to a speech in Barcelona, September 11 (Podemos)

Pablo Iglesias, the head of Spain’s far-left Podemos movement, has criticized Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for his handling of the Catalan separatist challenge.

In a series of tweets, Iglesias takes Rajoy and his government to task for their “fear of democracy”.

Defending Spain requires providing political solutions to historical problems. Prison and repression will only compound the problems.

Iglesias accuses Rajoy of aggravating support for independence by refusing to negotiate with the Catalans and argues that the only way out of the crisis is to let them vote.

Iglesias’ motives

For once, we agree. Although I do wonder about Iglesias’ motives.

I pointed out here in May that Podemos only came out in favor of a Catalan independence referendum when the newly-reelected Socialist Party leader, Pedro Sánchez, proposed a left-wing pact against Rajoy.

Iglesias, fearful of being “mainstreamed”, conditioned such a pact on the Socialists supporting a Catalan referendum as well — knowing Sánchez would not agree.

As a result, it seemed to some that Sánchez, not Iglesias, was the one standing in the way of a left-wing coalition.