In what is seen as a mass power display ahead of the upcoming Spanish general elections Spanish leftist party Podemos mobilized tens of thousands in Madrid on Saturday. Crowds chanted “yes we can” or “tic tac tic tac” to suggest the clock was ticking for Spain’s political elite, while many waved Greek and Republican flags and banners reading “the change is now” reminiscent of SYRIZA’s main pre-election slogan.
Addressing the populous demonstration in Madrid’s central square, Puerta del Sol, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said 2015 would be the “year of change” in Spain. “The wind of change is starting to blow in Europe,” he said in Greek, as he praised Greek leftist leader and personal friend Alexis Tsipras’ first moves as the new Greek Prime Minister. “Who said it was impossible? Greece today has a government of change. In Greece, more has been done in six days than in many years,” Pablo Iglesias highlighted.
Spain is currently emerging from a seven-year economic crisis as one of the Eurozone’s fastest growing countries, although the hardships for millions of Spaniards linger — one in four remain unemployed.
Likewise to Greek SYRIZA, Podemos hopes to win the upcoming elections and overturn the Spanish two-party political system — that has lasted more than four decades. As analysts observe, the similarities between the Greek and Spanish political scene are many and profound, while Podemos also emerged as one of the main political forces during the period of the crisis. In the 2014 European Parliament elections the then newly formed Podemos shocked many by winning five MEP seats.