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Liudvikas Jakavičius-Grimalauskas, head of media relations for H.S.H. Prince Inigo von Urach & expert in political sciences, shares his views about the climbing of a communist party in Spain.
King Felipe VI of Spain
© AFP/Scanpix

Today, Spain´s bipartisanship parties, the “People´s Party” (Conservatives) and the “Spanish Socialist Worker´s Party” (Social-Democrats) are scrambling to find an answer to the speedy and unexpected rise of “Podemos” – in English “We Can” – a communist party founded less than 10 months ago.

On Sunday, the prestigious Spanish newspaper “El País” published a new poll by “Metroscopia” that presents “We Can” as the strongest political force in Spain. This poll shows that in just 10 months this group of communists passed from 0.2% of electoral support to 28%, overcoming all Spanish political parties. According to the survey, the “People´s Party” (ruling party) received 20% of support, while the “Spanish Socialist Worker´s Party” (opposition) received 25% of support.

“We Can” was founded this January by Pablo Iglesias Turrión, an inexperienced and populist 36-year-old lecturer of Political Science & TV host, with very good verbal skills. Members of “We Can” come from the dark world of dangerous Spanish radical left (communists & anarchists). “We Can” participated in the 2014 European Parliament elections and received about 8% of the vote, even though it was merely four months old at the time. Now “We Can” is the second Spanish party by amount of members with more than 200,000 affiliates, and is the most supported party in Spain according to all statistics. This include the barometer published by the CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas - Centre for Sociological Research) on November 5, 2014, an independent entity assigned to the Ministry of Presidency.

Its leader, Pablo Iglesias, is currently a member of the European Parliament, although he is Eurosceptic and has publicly stated that he is there to defend the interests of southern Europeans, i.e., not of all Europeans that are paying his salary and duties as MEP. Are these the initial steps of Spain to become the first communist country in the European Union?

The intent

As every Communist party, “We Can” wants to break the rules of democracy. They are calling for a complete reform of the political system in Spain that includes the government control over “strategic” sectors of the economy, ergo, public control over banks, energy companies and mass media, among others. The “We Can” programme also includes a proposal to ban profitable companies from firing workers, limit private ownership, give parliaments control over the policies of the European Central Bank, and of course, hold an illegal “referendum” to abolish monarchy.

So we can say that Pablo Iglesias wishes to make of Spain a new Venezuela or Cuba, and if “We Can” wins the next elections, that is the most possible scenario; Spanish people must be prepared to the imminent bankruptcy of the country. Another one of his “great” ideas to get votes is the introduction of state-funded basic minimum income of 650 EUR for all citizens. But, that basic income for all citizens would represent the 25% of Spanish GDP; therefore, this man is using demagogy and promising things he will not be able to deliver.

In fact, “We Can” has its origins on different anarchist and communist movements and “indirectly” has been financed by Hugo Chávez, the late President of Venezuela. The “donations” that the CEPS (organization close to “We Can”), and subsequently the party, received from Venezuela’s Chavismo date back to 2002. A very extensive report released by “El País” a few months ago reveals close ties between the CEPS and “We Can”.

In just 5 months of its existence, it has become Spain’s fourth most popular party in the European Parliament, and in 10 months of its existence, it transformed into a favorite party for the next general presidency election. Iglesias has branded himself as the new solution to the Spanish economic crisis, promising to keep the welfare state, but the reality couldn’t be farther from truth.

As the “Robbin Hood” of South Europeans, he is very critical of Germany and with Angela Merkel, in particular. The reality though is that Spain is overcoming its economic crisis thanks to Germany and EU; IMF, in turn, has the right to put preconditions (cuts) to rescue a country.

The core of the problem

For six years since the beginning of the world economic crisis, Spanish workers have been subject to a social counterrevolution. Drawn up by both the “People´s Party” and the “Spanish Socialist Worker´s Party”, this has led to widespread poverty and mass unemployment hitting 26 percent of the labour force, with 56 percent of them being youth. There are 686,600 households in which none of their members have an income of any kind.d people are tired of corruption. Although corruption is rampant, there is no popular reaction to the problem.

There are more than 500 politicians of all ideological backgrounds formally indicted for corruption in a court of law, including people from the extreme left. During the last 10-20 years Spain was dotted by a cloud of corruption that finally merged in the current economic crisis. The economic crisis sent many Spanish citizens below the poverty line as if Spain was a third world country. The success or failure of a country is the result of the work of all its citizens, from the humblest worker to the highest skilled CEO’s. Emergence of corruption is the fault of the entire society due to lack of resistance and the fact that people on all tiers of society endorse it to solve their problems.

Conclusion

“We Can” is taking advantage of the current social, political and economic crisis to come to power and establish a Communist regime. The history shows that many dictators came to power in the midst of political, social or economic crisis, by first being democratically elected and reinforcing a dictatorial rule when the grip of their power over the establishment is secured.

If “We Can” wins the next elections, Spain will become the first Communist country in the European Union, transforming the relationships within the European Union, the NATO and many international organizations Spain is a part of.

As far as the King himself is concerned, with Pablo Iglesias or “We Can” in power, he will likely go into exile with the entire royal family, a move he must already be contemplating. Pablo Iglesias and “We Can” want to hold a referendum to abolish the monarchy in Spain and change the political system despite the fact that it would be illegal, according to Spanish laws. Spain is a constitutional monarchy established democratically by the Spanish constitutional referendum of 1978, where 88.54 % of voters approved the restoration of monarchy. It is noteworthy, that the referendum had a turnover of the 67.11% of the electorate. So we can ensure that monarchy in Spain is fully democratic. If “We Can” wants to hold a referendum, it must amend the constitution first, and only then, hold a referendum.

Unfortunately, the majority of Spanish people are politically immature and often change their political allegiances. Ergo, today they don’t want a King yet may want him back in the following years. I would argue that the monarchy in Spain will end in no more than five years, and we will see the Third Spanish Republic in a few years.

In conclusion, it is important to note that Spain is not suffering from economic crisis per se, but from from a social and political crisis, and Spanish people must fix their social and political issues first to be able to overcome the economic hardships.