The leader of Spain’s left-wing Podemos party on Monday said his priority when parliament reconvenes in early January will be to help the poor—not to hash out internal power struggles among political parties.
This month’s Spanish elections, in which anti-austerity Podemos picked up a surprisingly high 69 seats, “blew apart the cozy arrangement that has existed in Spain since the return to democracy in the late 1970s, which has allowed the right-wing Popular Party (PP) and the leftist Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) to swap power on regular occasions,” Alistair Dawber wrote for The Independent on Friday.
“Thanks to [Podemos leader Pablo] Iglesias, neither party can now govern alone,” Dawber explained. “If the two traditional parties can reach an agreement – and that is by no means likely – Podemos will emerge as the main opposition group in Spain. If a grand coalition does not work, there is a good chance Podemos, and Iglesias, will enter government as part of a leftist alliance. Either way, the man has already won, for he has changed Spain for good.”
After meeting with acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday, Iglesias appears ready to shake things up even further.
According to Agence France-Presse, Iglesias “refused to talk of forming alliances” after the meeting.
“Instead,” AFP reports, “he said the priority for Podemos when parliament reconvenes on January 13 will be to help the poor by proposing a ‘social emergency’ law that prevents families from being evicted for not paying their mortgage or ensures pensioners can buy their medicine.”
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