Leaders of Spanish Far Left Split

Podemos deputies Iñigo Errejón and Pablo Iglesias listen to a debate in Spain's parliament in Madrid, April 12, 2016
Podemos deputies Iñigo Errejón and Pablo Iglesias listen to a debate in Spain’s parliament in Madrid, April 12, 2016 (Podemos)

The relatively moderate number two in Spain’s left-wing Podemos party, Iñigo Errejón, has broken with the leader, Pablo Iglesias, weakening the far left in a potentially crucial election year.

Errejón, who failed to unseat Iglesias in a leadership election in 2017, has formed his own pact with the incumbent mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, for the municipal elections in May.

Errejón wants the whole of Podemos to team up with Carmena, but Iglesias has ruled this out — and accused Errejón of betrayal. Read more

Spain’s Socialists, Podemos Eye Deal

Spanish party leaders Pablo Iglesias and Pedro Sánchez speak in Madrid, February 5, 2016
Spanish party leaders Pablo Iglesias and Pedro Sánchez speak in Madrid, February 5, 2016 (PSOE)

Spain’s ruling Socialist Party and the far-left Podemos are closing in on an agreement that could allow Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to stay in power until 2020.

Sánchez does not have a majority of his own. He came to power with the support of Podemos and small regionalist parties, but they have since voted against his 2019 budget proposal, putting his minority government in limbo. Read more

Spanish Left Pays Price for Choosing Purists Over Pragmatists

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez wave at photographers before a meeting in Madrid, December 23, 2015
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez wave at photographers before a meeting in Madrid, December 23, 2015 (PSOE)

Spain’s ruling People’s Party continues to fall in the polls. Its support is down from 33 percent in the last election to under 25 percent in most recent surveys. The reasons are corruption scandals and the ongoing Catalan independence crisis.

The liberal Citizens, who support — but are not a part of — Mariano Rajoy’s government, are up. Some polls even have them as the largest party of Spain. Their promise to clean up politics, and the hard line they have taken against the Catalan separatists, is resonating with center-right voters.

The left, El País points out, seems unable to exploit Rajoy’s unpopularity. Support for the mainstream Socialist Party is virtually unchanged at 20-22 percent. The far-left Podemos is down several points. Read more

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

Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias gives a speech in Vitoria-Gasteiz, June 21, 2016
Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias gives a speech in Vitoria-Gasteiz, June 21, 2016 (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. Read more

Why Spain’s Podemos Now Supports Catalan Referendum

Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias appears at an event in Málaga, May 17, 2014
Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias appears at an event in Málaga, May 17, 2014 (Cyberfrancis)

Spain’s Podemos party has come out in favor of a Catalan independence referendum, making it the first major national party to break with the government of Mariano Rajoy on the issue.

The anti-establishment movement remains opposed to Catalan independence and argues that a referendum should not be legally binding, but the new policy is a win for Catalonia’s separatists all the same.

It’s probably not for them that Podemos has changed their minds, though. Read more

Podemos Endorses Hard-Left Course of Leader Iglesias

Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias speaks at a congress in Madrid, February 12, 2017
Spanish Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias speaks at a congress in Madrid, February 12, 2017 (Podemos)

On Saturday, I wrote that the smart thing for Spain’s Podemos party to do was embrace the pragmatic vision of its number two, Iñigo Errejón.

So of course they did the opposite the following day. Read more

Spanish Left Needs to Decide Between Power and Principle

Pablo Iglesias speaks at a Podemos rally in Madrid, Spain, May 22, 2015
Pablo Iglesias speaks at a Podemos rally in Madrid, Spain, May 22, 2015 (Maria Navarro Sorolla)

Spain’s two left-wing parties need to decide if they want to stick to their principles and keep their hands clean — or if they’re willing to make compromises in order to get into power.

At a party conference this weekend, members of the anti-establishment Podemos movement are asked to endorse one of two visions: either stay the hard-left course under Pablo Iglesias, the current leader, or switch to the more pragmatic policy of his deputy, Iñigo Errejón.

The mainstream Socialists face a similar choice in their leadership election. Patxi López and Pedro Sánchez advocate opposition to the minority right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy. Susana Díaz, the president of Andalusia, represents the moderate wing of the party, which argues against blowing up an accord that has kept Spain governable since October. Read more