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Watermelon sin Jamón
Zanas46
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« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2015, 07:30:44 pm »

well, upyd did start to crater in the polls around podemos's rise. I imagine it was picking up a healthy amount of protest votes from the perpetually dissatisfied (and remember Diaz is an ex-PSOE person) secular left.
Polls don't work that way. When a party starts to rise at the same time as another starts to fall, it doesn't mean the votes are trasnferring from the latter to the former. Concomitance doesn't equal correlation. But I may be wrong, it may actually be the case in that particular instance, we'll have to ask our more advised Spanish members. But don't expect it to always work that way, but I'm sure you know better.
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Velasco
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« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2015, 04:51:51 am »
« Edited: January 22, 2015, 11:05:53 am by Velasco »

Podemos's surge took a large swathe from IU (the leftists - brown), UpyD (anti-nationalist liberals - purple) and healthy amounts from the major two. They also seem to have activated many youths who would otherwise not vote.
I would argue that Podemos actually gathered very few previous UPyD voters. The appeals are simply too far apart. Correct me if I'm wrong, Velasco ?

According to the CIS survey (October 2014), Podemos' voters come from: PSOE 28%, "Others" 22%, Abstainers 17%, IU 15%, PP 7% and UPyD 1% . The rest voted "Blank", "null" or "couldn't vote".

In relative terms, the calculation on "vote as remembered in 2011" variable shows that 46% of those who voted IU were switching to Podemos, 29% UPyD, 25% PSOE and 6% PP.

In short: former UPyD voters represent a very small share of the present Podemos' support, but in relative terms the loss has had a substantial impact in the small UPyD's voting base.

http://politikon.es/2014/11/05/podemos-y-la-centralidad-en-la-izquierda/

In that website you can read other analyses on the Podemos' vote, for example this one:

http://politikon.es/2014/12/10/quien-apoya-podemos-una-radiografia-de-votantes/

Podemos' support is solid among all groups of age except the elder (>65). By educational level, Podemos has a high support among people with secondary and university studies, but low among people with primary studies or those without studies. Podemos is strong in urban centres, but has a low level of support in small towns ( pop. <2000). The CIS' "social class" categories are quite strange, and I'm not sure if we can extract conclusions on them. In any case, the profile of Podemos' voters is interclassist.

This graph compares the profile of Podemos (purple), PSOE (red), PP (blue), IU (green) and UPyD (pink) on age ("edad"), educational ("estudios"), country/urban ("campo/ciudad") and socioeconomic ("clase social") categories:

Img
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Velasco
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« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2015, 05:22:23 am »
« Edited: January 22, 2015, 05:56:33 am by Velasco »

Lots of news these days. Luis Bárcenas gathered the bail money and leaves jail today. Opposition forces are indignant, while Mariano Rajoy and PP fear the "Bárcenas show".

Unemployment decreased by 477k in 2014, with nearly 444k new labour contracts (temporary and precarious in an overwhelming proportion).

Img

PP reintroduces life sentence despite opposition rejection:

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/21/inenglish/1421853995_633290.html

Quote
Despite objections from opposition lawmakers, ruling Popular Party (PP) deputies were expected late Wednesday to pass the government’s changes to the penal code which, among other things, will introduce life prison sentences for dangerous offenders with the possibility for review.

The bill is expected to go to the Senate before being sent back to Congress for final approval by summer, according to PP officials, who hold the majority in both chambers. Judges could start handing down life terms as early as next year.

Maximum prison terms in Spain are currently set at 40 years without review for the most dangerous crimes. Under the new law, review of life sentences can take place after an inmate serves between 25 and 35 years of their term and depending on the crime.
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Watermelon sin Jamón
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« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2015, 10:00:01 am »

Maximum prison terms in Spain are currently set at 40 years without review for the most dangerous crimes. Under the new law, review of life sentences can take place after an inmate serves between 25 and 35 years of their term and depending on the crime.
Inb4 'Muricans come in saying "Whaaaaat??"
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Velasco
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« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2015, 11:03:43 am »

Inb4 'Muricans come in saying "Whaaaaat??"

http://es.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Murican

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"Those Muricans think they can just push everyone around. What a bunch of arrogant imperialistic bastards!"

More news. Former PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero confirms that he met with Pablo Iglesias and Iñigo Errejón from Podemos. The meeting was facilitated by former minister of Defense and prominent territorial 'baron' José Bono, who defended Iglesias' father before the Tribunal of Public Order in Franco times. They talked about Latin America and the Euro and apparently had "significant differences". ZP commented days later that meeting with Pedro Sánchez. Pablo Iglesias said from Brussels that he would be "delighted" in having a chat with the current PSOE leader. Pedro Sánchez, who says that there are "objective reasons" for calling snap elections in Andalusia, sees "no reason" to have a meeting with the leader of Podemos.

Chattering classes say that ZP and Bono would prefer Susana Díaz over Pedro Sánchez, but I can't confirm the gossip. Zapatero, who backed Sánchez against Madina for PSOE leadership, says that Díaz is "by far the best current ruler". Zapatero and Sánchez had distanced each other since the latter proposed to counter reform the controversial reform of Article 135, agreed between PSOE and PP by the end of ZP's term.

El Mundo has an extensive coverage (they must be rubbing their hands Grin )

http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2015/01/21/54bf7606268e3e97278b456f.html

http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2015/01/22/54c0cf1d22601d5d6b8b4572.html

http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2015/01/22/54c017c022601d270f8b457a.html
 
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« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2015, 04:00:47 pm »

Velasco, what is the status of nuclear power in Spain? Have Podemos and the other new parties found a position on the plants?
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Velasco
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« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2015, 03:42:52 am »

Velasco, what is the status of nuclear power in Spain? Have Podemos and the other new parties found a position on the plants?

According to the Spanish Nuclear Security Council (CSN):

http://www.csn.es/index.php/en/nuclear-power-plants

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In Spain there are six nuclear power plants in operation.  Two of these, Almaraz and Ascó, are twin unit plants, as a result of which there are eight reactors in total.  There is also one plant, José Cabrera, which has now been definitively shut down.
These eight electricity generating groups are of two different types: pressurised water reactors (PWR) and boiling water reactors (BWR).  Within the PWR group, the order of seniority is as follows: Almaraz, with two groups (1980 and 1983); Ascó, also with two groups (1982 and 1985); Vandellós II (1987) and Trillo, the last plant to enter operation in Spain (1987).
As regards the boiling water reactor (BWR) plants, the oldest is Santa María de Garoña (1970), followed by Cofrentes (1984).
The Spanish plants produce around 20 % of the electricity consumed in the country, depending on the number and duration of their refuelling outages, which vary from one year to twenty four months.

There is specific info of every plant available in English language at the CSN website. According to the World Nuclear Association (the 'nuclear lobby', in other words), "government commitment to the future of nuclear energy in Spain has been uncertain, but has firmed up as the cost of subsidising renewables becomes unaffordable."

In 1984, Felipe González administration (PSOE) approved a nuclear moratorium. Since then, PSOE's stance is to keep centrals in operation until the end of service life, as well opposes to build new plants. In 2008, the Zapatero administration promised to close all power plants at the end of their lifetime and to promote research in renewable energies. By that time, the government implemented a subsidy policy for renewables and passed the Sustainable Economy Act in 2010, which intended a 20% reduction in greenhouse emissions in 2020 and a similar increase in the use of renewables. Some environmentalist organisations deemed the initiative as "contradictory" and "unsustainable" (Ecologistas en Acción). In 2011, the Act was amended by CiU initiative in order to extend the lifetime of nuclear plants beyond 40 years if the CSN reported favourably. Once in power, the Rajoy administration suppressed subsidies for renewables. PP opposed to the closing of the Santa María de Garoña plant, the oldest in service, initially planned in 2013.

Nearly all  parties, including Podemos, support the nuclear moratorium and the gradual closure of nuclear plants. Podemos in particular supports a "programmed closing" of plants, "assuring employment alternatives for workers". As well Podemos wants to increase investment projects in renewables to reduce greenhouse emissions, a programmed closing of coal and gas plants, supports energy self-generation, ban on fracking, etc.

http://podemos.info/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Programa-Podemos.pdf

PP, CiU and UPyD advocate for "reopening the debate" on nuclear energy.
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Velasco
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« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2015, 04:17:38 am »
« Edited: January 23, 2015, 04:21:30 am by Velasco »

Luis Bárcenas left prison yesterday evening and spoke in third person: "I have no message to Rajoy (...) I listened his advice and I thank him, Luis has been truly strong." Bárcenas was referencing a SMS message in which the Spanish PM advised him to be "strong" in the face of adversity. In July 2013, El Mundo released messages crossed between Rajoy and Bárcenas leaked by the former PP treasurer, angry because PP's parliamentary spokesman Alfonso Alonso called him "offender". Alonso replaced Ana Mato as minister of Healthcare; Mato was forced to resign after judge Pablo Ruz called her to testify as "lucrative participant" in the Gürtel corruption network.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/22/inenglish/1421936207_172542.html

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(...)High Court Judge Pablo Ruz signed the release order after Bárcenas’s lawyer Javier Gómez de Liaño handed over copies of bank deposits and transfers reflecting that the bail had been paid.

Under the conditions of his release, the former PP senator, who faces a wide range of corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion charges, will have to report three days a week to the High Court and is prohibited from leaving the country.

His family, along with scores of journalists and photographers, gathered at the entrance of Soto del Real penitentiary outside Madrid on Thursday afternoon waiting for him to emerge. Guillermo Bárcenas, the defendant’s son, said his father was calm and that the family was now “stronger than ever” since the PP corruption scandal broke.

His release has sparked concerns among many PP officials, who know they are facing a tough election year amid ongoing graft investigations and fear that a media circus will break out while Bárcenas is out on bail.

Among the nine family members who put up the money are Bárcenas’s siblings, aunt, mother-in-law and brother-in-law. The money was paid in five installments totaling €110,000, while the rest was deposited at a bank branch (...)
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Velasco
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« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2015, 04:00:10 am »

PP was holding a political convention this weekend marked by the Aznar comeback, attacks on Podemos and the shadow of Luis Bárcenas, wafting in the air.

On Friday former PM José María Aznar led the way to PP leadership, as well posed some rhetorical questions: "Where is PP?" "Does PP aspire to win?" Aznar answered both saying that PP has the obligation to win the next elections, because it's "the best instrument to defend the interests of Spaniards" but it mustn't "neglect discouragement and suspicion". Aznar advised Rajoy and his entourage a "back to basics", as well keeping the party's head up. "Spain needs more PP, more State, more Nation and more unity, no less (...) needs more determination against those who want to destroy it. More rule of law, more reforms and more confidence". In his view it's not the future of PP what is at stake, "it's the future of Spain". Because of that, he encourages the party for not accepting "defiance" nor "separatism" and demanded "a credible project" for the country, "unity and courage". On corruption Aznar said that "it's a cancer that we shouldn't tolerate" and warned that "every one must answer for their actions", claiming that he can answer for his own actions "looking into the eyes". Former PM remembered terrorism victims on the anniversary of the killing of Gregorio Ordóñez, a PP councilor in San Sebastián killed by ETA 20 years ago.

PP secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal, who maintains that the country's choices are between "PP or nothing", seemed to reply Aznar. "Unity is the pillar of our strength. We have a project. Here is PP to serve Spaniards".

Former Madrid premier Esperanza Aguirre charged against Podemos, saying that it's a mixture of "the worst of the most archaic communism and the worst of its demagoguery". Aguirre advocated for a "deep ideological rearming", stressing that "all of we are dispensable, but not our ideals and principles (...) even more when separatists want to break Spain (...) and populists want to end the Spanish State".

On Saturday Mariano Rajoy continued the charge against Podemos: "What system they want to change?". Rajoy argued that system allowed some Podemos leaders to study in public schools and get scholarship grants, in allusion to a controversy around a research contract won by Iñigo Errejón -who is a political scientist and the campaign manager of Podemos- at the Malaga University. The research director was a professor from that university who is in Podemos too, and some media claimed there were irregularities in that contract. Some mayors and village councilors took the stand, in a scenography intended to be a reply to the new rival: "I am a mayor. I'm electrician. I belong to the electricians' caste".

MEP Esteban González Pons, who often chats with Pablo Iglesias at Strasbourg, followed: "I believe in a Spain without castes and saviours", making a distinction between "the Constitutional Spain" and the Podemos "Soviet Spain". "Corrupts are the excuse for extremists to liquidate democracy"

Yesterday night, I watched Pablo Iglesias in TV and he was smiling while watching some cuts from that conference. He thinks the more PP attacks, the better for his party.

Luis Bárcenas, on the other hand, said that Mariano Rajoy was aware since the beginning of the existence of a parallel accounting to finance PP.

On PSOE, Andalusian premier Susana Díaz stated that her priority is Andalusia and not the socialist primaries in July. She's currently pregnant and will give birth by that month. Podemos is trying to organise the campaign against the clock, because everybody is certain that Díaz is going to call. There is concern in PP because Andalusian people doesn't know regional leader Juan Manuel Moreno. PP assures that internal polling places conservatives trailing Susana Díaz by 3%, so they think they can compete.
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Velasco
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« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2015, 05:47:21 am »
« Edited: January 25, 2015, 08:47:08 am by Velasco »

Some regional and local polls.

Andalusia: Regional Elections. Invymark/La Sexta.

PSOE 39.6%, PP 29.4%, Podemos 15.2%, IU 8.7%, UPyD 3%

Sample size: 1200. Fieldwork: Jan 19.

Basque Country: Municipal Elections. Ikerfel/El Correo, Diario Vasco

Bilbao (29 councilors): PNV 40.3% (13-14 councilors), Podemos 15.4% (5), EH Bildu 11.1% (3-4), PSOE 10.1% (3), PP 9.4% (3), IU 4.7% (0-1), UPyD 4.1% (-)

Donostia-San Sebastián (27 councilors) PNV 29.4% (9), PSOE 18.2% (5-6), EH Bildu 17.9% (5-6), Podemos 14.6% (4-5), PP 10.1% (3), IU 4.3% (-), UPyD 1%

Vitoria-Gasteiz (27 councilors): PP 18.5% (6), PNV 18.4% (6), Podemos 16.3% (5), EH Bildu 14.3% (4-5), PSOE 13.3% (4), UPyD 5.3% (0-1), IU 4.7% (0-1).

Council threshold: 5%

Sample: 3000 (all Basque Country). Fieldwork: Jan 7-13.

Edit: The poll estimates 0-1 councilors for IU in Bilbao. It also estimates results for the Juntas Generales (provincial legislatures): clear PNV lead in Biscay, Podemos comes second; PNV-EH Bildu draw in Gipuzkoa, Podemos third; PNV-Podemos draw in Alava, EH Bildu comes in a close third.

http://www.electograph.com/2015/01/jj-gg-pais-vasco-enero-2015-sondeo.html
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« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2015, 12:45:52 pm »

Is it fair to say that the Podemos lists' performance at local level will be expected to be lower than their true national level?
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« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2015, 01:39:18 pm »

Is it fair to say that the Podemos lists' performance at local level will be expected to be lower than their true national level?
It's true of SYRIZA (not being as strong below the national level) so I think it would hold for Podemos, a similar type of party.
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« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2015, 04:35:07 pm »

Is it fair to say that the Podemos lists' performance at local level will be expected to be lower than their true national level?

At local level in particular, it's likely that Podemos will perform lower because of some factors. First of all, Podemos leadership decided not to run under the party banner in municipal elections for strategic reasons. Territorial implementation out of the main cities is not complete and, above all, people at national leadership thought they wouldn't be able to have control on local lists -they feared careerists infiltrating in them, among other things-. Instead, Podemos is going to promote or support local independent lists. They can run lists with other left parties on a local basis, but the candidacies must have a 'civic' independent character, never be formal coalitions. That rule has an exception in Barcelona, where Podemos will run in a coalition with ICV-EUiA and other groups into the Guanyem ("Let's Win") project. Local pollng is asking for Podemos anyway, and likely they will be present in the main cities under 'white labels'.

To the contrary, Podemos will run under its banner in regional elections. As well, they can run as Podemos for the Juntas Generales in the Basque Country and the Cabildos (insular councils) in the Canaries. In Andalusia, there is the Susana Díaz factor (the woman is popular) and the problems faced by Podemos to implement its presence in a large territory where small and medium sized towns have a substantial weight. 
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« Reply #63 on: January 26, 2015, 02:01:20 am »

Confirmed. Andalusian premier Susana Díaz phoned yesterday evening IU regional coordinator Antonio Maíllo, in order to put an end to the coalition government. Election date is set on March 22.

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« Reply #64 on: January 26, 2015, 02:56:50 am »

It's true of SYRIZA (not being as strong below the national level) so I think it would hold for Podemos, a similar type of party.

That comment made me remember a yesterday's article stressing the five differences and two similarities between Podemos and Syriza.

Differences:

1) Radical Left vs. ideological transversality.

While the party led Alexis Tsipras is positioned on the classical left-right ideological axis, Podemos seeks for "the centrality of the stage" because, according to Íñigo Errejón, "the classic divide doesn't create hegemony".

2) Alphabet soup or political party?

Syriza started to walk in 2004 and it was a coalition until thee 2012 election. Podemos rejected the coalition formula since the beginning. In past autumn's foundational convention, Podemos made clear that it won't participate in "an alphabet soup nor in a negotiation between parties". Actually, Syriza is what IU intended to be since it was founded in 1986.

3) International affiliation.

Syriza belongs to the European Left party, which Podemos hasn't joined in spite of being part of the GUE/NGL group in the EP.

4) Electoral growth.

Between 2004 and 2009 elections Syriza grew slowly, getting around 5% of the vote. It was in 2012 when the Tsipras' party went up. Podemos got 8% in the first elections they contested, only 4 months before being established as a 'movement' -it wasn't a party until the October convention- and polls say now that it's disputing the first place... only one year after the inaugural meeting at a theatre in Lavapiés (in the centre of Madrid)!

5) Alexis Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias.

The career of Alexis Tsipras began at the university, he was a youth leader in the then powerful Communist Party and soon became in a prominent political figure, topping a list for the Athens mayoralty and getting into parliament. Pablo Iglesias was always linked to politics from the sidelines, he focused first on his studies rather than institutional politics. Since 2012, he was starting to be known by the public -albeit in a limited way- producing his own political show; later he reached a broader audience by participating in political talk shows at generalist channels. He only entered electoral politics in 2014.

Similarities

1) Podemos and Syriza have moderated stances on the debt and share a similar analysis on the solution of the problem, albeit the magnitudes of the debt are different in Spain (100%) and Greece (175%).

2) Podemos and Syriza advocate for the end of austerity and use similar rhetoric when referring to the infamous Troika and the "austericide".

http://www.eldiario.es/politica/Podemos-Syriza-diferencias-similitudes_0_348915514.html

On the Podemos October convention, there's an article in Newsweek that you might find useful:

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/31/podemosradical-party-turning-spanish-politics-head-279018.html

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« Reply #65 on: January 26, 2015, 06:48:12 am »

It seems to me that Podemos has also some a lot in common with the M5S. Are they organized like a classic party (Syriza) or do they try and use online/direct democracy like the Five Stars Movement?
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« Reply #66 on: January 26, 2015, 06:56:32 am »

It seems to me that Podemos has also some a lot in common with the M5S. Are they organized like a classic party (Syriza) or do they try and use online/direct democracy like the Five Stars Movement?

On the use of the Internet, I'd say Podemos people is more savvy than the Grillo troupe. In that regard, they are more similar to Potami than Syriza. As for the political message, that of Podemos goes beyond the Grillo's "Vafanculo!", even though Pablo Iglesias et alii tend to simplify too much when speaking in public.
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« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2015, 04:46:05 am »
« Edited: January 27, 2015, 04:57:36 am by Velasco »

Are they organized like a classic party (Syriza) or do they try and use online/direct democracy like the Five Stars Movement?

I didn't reply that part. Sorry, swl. At organisational level, Podemos has right now a mixture of both. As you can read in the paragraphs quoted below, there was a debate in the foundational convention on the organisational model between opposite sides. Now Podemos is electing local and regional executives throughout Spain.

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/31/podemosradical-party-turning-spanish-politics-head-279018.html

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The greater hope for Podemos’s opponents, perhaps, is of a rift between rival power blocs in the party. Having rather put the cart before the horse in May, the citizens’ assembly in Madrid was part of a two-month process to establish a comprehensive policy programme and internal party structure, and it has highlighted competing factions and approaches within the party. Pablo Iglesias and his allies have proposed a relatively centralised party structure and executive leadership, against the wishes of some militants who wish to see “all power to the circulos”. Iglesias’s team also faced criticism for proposing to skip municipal elections in the spring to focus all energy on the 2015 general election. “We did not come into politics to have a symbolic role,” Iglesias said in his speech. “We are here to win, and to form a government.” (...)

Otherwise, the commitment to direct democracy at the Palacio Vistalegre was substantial, if somewhat bewildering for the technophobic. Podemos have succeeded so far in part because of the weekly circulos in town squares, but also through online participation on the party’s web forums, on Reddit, and via Facebook – and they recently trialled the use of Appgree, a smartphone application whereby users in the bullring or watching at home could ask questions, make proposals, and vote on each other’s answers. The party’s policy programme for the general election is likewise an attempt to implement open-source, direct democracy: anyone could write a proposal document and upload them to the party website, and the proposals were then lobbied for, discussed, and finally, voted on. Almost 40,000 people voted on the online proposals.


Podemos sees the triumph of Syriza as a new political era that will come to Spain:

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/26/inenglish/1422267821_418365.html

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Podemos, Spain’s anti-austerity party, sees “a new period” opening up after radical leftist group Syriza sailed to victory in the Greek elections on Sunday.

“The unfair and inefficient budget cut policies have been defeated by Greek voters despite the fear campaign,” said Íñigo Errejón, Podemos’ number two official, in statements to EL PAÍS.

“Blackmail has not triumphed in Greece, meaning it will be more difficult for it to triumph in Spain,” said Errejón, the party’s secretary for political affairs.

“The Greeks are finally going to get a Greek government, not an Angela Merkel delegate,” added Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.
(...)
“Hope is here,” Iglesias wrote on Twitter, mirroring Syriza’s own message following Sunday’s results: “Hope has won!”

Both anti-austerity parties have been playing up their ties: Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was in Spain on the day that Pablo Iglesias became secretary general of Podemos, and Iglesias was in Athens last week at Syriza’s closing campaign rally.

Yet Iglesias is aware that going too far with the relationship could be detrimental to Podemos if Syriza’s performance in office falls below expectations.

“We are putting some distance between us and them because Greece and Spain are in different situations,” says Errejón. “Spain is stronger, its response capacity is greater than Greece’s.”

Instead, Podemos would rather restrict the similarities to the election results. As Iglesias recently stated on the television network La Sexta: “2015 will be the year of change in Spain, as in Greece.”

Rajoy, on his part, closed PP political convention warning Spaniards to not play "Russian Roulette" with Podemos:

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/26/inenglish/1422290637_539732.html

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We cannot gamble away our children’s future on a Russian roulette of frivolity, incompetence and populism. We cannot,” said Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, using a play on words (“we cannot” is “no podemos” in Spanish).
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« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2015, 05:17:33 am »

The graph shows the regional election results between 1982 and 2012. It's normal that Podemos doesn't appear, because it didn't exist. They will run in Andalusia, of course Wink

One of the main motivations of Susana Díaz is proving that Podemos can be beaten at the polls, as well she seeks weaken the IU and testing herself on the electoral ground -she replaced premier José Antonio Griñán in 2013, who ran as candidate in the previous election and later resigned in the wake of the ERE scandal.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/26/inenglish/1422272758_563431.html

Quote
The call for the early vote means Andalusia will become the first regional measure of the strength of the Socialists (PSOE) and the national ruling Popular Party (PP) – the two forces that have led the Spanish political scene in recent decades – as they face the growing challenge represented by the rise of new anti-austerity party Podemos.

Relations between Díaz and Maíllo have never been smooth. On Friday, they held a meeting to discuss a range of rocky issues, including the IU’s plans to organize a referendum among its members this summer on whether to leave the coalition with the Socialists if Díaz’s government failed to push a series of reforms through parliament, including introducing minimum payments to cover basic utilities for all Andalusians.

The elections in March will also serve as a bellwether for the IU’s up-and-coming national leader Alberto Garzón, who could become the group’s candidate in the general elections. In recent months, Garzón has been edging toward some of Podemos’s social policies, while distancing himself from the Socialists, the IU’s traditional political partner over the past decade.

After communicating her decision to Maíllo, Díaz telephoned Socialist secretary general Pedro Sánchez, who offered his support in the regional campaign.

Governed by the PSOE for more than 25 years, Andalusia has long been a Socialist stronghold. But the party’s reputation has been severely weakened over the years by a series of arrests of past officials, and charges filed at the Supreme Court against Díaz’s two predecessors, Manuel Chaves (1990-2009) and José Antonio Griñán (2009-2013), in connection to a fraud scheme that siphoned money from public funds set aside to help ailing businesses pay severance to laid-off workers.

In making her decision to call early elections, Díaz also weighed in the Podemos factor. Even though Podemos has made headway in many provinces across Spain, its structure in Andalusia is not well organized. Its leader Teresa Rodríguez, who comes from the Anti-Capitalist Left group, is part of an internal sector that has been critical of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

Díaz also took into consideration Podemos’s showing in Andalusian opinion polls, which is not as high as in other parts of the country. Voter intention surveys place Podemos in third place behind the Socialists and PP. The regional premier wants to help galvanize the PSOE, which will faces a tough general election in November, by showing the Socialists’ strong standing in Andalusia.

It's possible that MEP Teresa Rodríguez, who will be in all likelihood the next regional secretary, doesn't run as candidate. Podemos will hold primaries soon. Some locally famous persons or even professor Juan Torres (co-writer of the Podemos economic draft) were mentioned as possible candidates.
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Velasco
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« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2015, 09:38:39 am »

Reactions to the Syriza's victory in Greece in the Spanish media.

El País (centre-left, PSOE) “agitation in Europe”; ABC (old-fashioned conservative monarchist, PP): “Populism Takes Over Greece”; Cinco Días (economic paper, shares media group with El País): “Greece Shakes Europe”; La Vanguardia (Barcelona, pro-CiU): “Greece Defies Merkel”; El Mundo (centre-right, PP): “Greece Defies The Troika”; the best headline belongs to La Razón (conservative, PP): “Disgreece: Greeks run headlong into the populist abyss”.

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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2015, 11:08:29 am »

La Razón's subheadline is 'nos gusta España'? LOL.

Oh great posts btw. Please continue.
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« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2015, 02:14:14 pm »

La Razón's subheadline is 'nos gusta España'? LOL.

Oh great posts btw. Please continue.

Yeah, I agree this is a good series of posts. Thank you.
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Velasco
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« Reply #72 on: January 28, 2015, 06:00:34 am »

OK, thanks.

Reactions in Spain included political parties, of course. Rajoy sent a message to Tsipras with the usual moderate and institutional tone, hoping that "the electoral result results in the formation of a stable government committed to the European integration project shared by Greece and Spain." Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos stressed that the situation in Spain is "totally different" to the one is suffering Greece and advised the newly elected Greek PM to "stick to its commitments, which are essential for returning Greece to growth". Espernza Aguirre remarked that "Spain has nothing to do with Greece, nor Syriza with Podemos", as well Esteban González Pons insisted on the differences between both countries and introduced ETA in the analysis, saying that Tsipras must be bad for Spaniards if Arnaldo Otegui -leader of Sortu (EHBildu), currently in prison accused of "glorifying terrorism" and belonging to ETA- congratulated Greeks for the outcome. In other words: Syriza = ETA. Socialists, pretty confused on their positioning in Greece, just repeated the mantra: "Greece is not Spain, the PASOK is not the PSOE, Syriza is not Podemos". MEP Juan Francisco López Aguilar said days ago that he would "salute" a victory of Syriza. Meanwhile Pablo Iglesias was understandably exultant and warned: "To be able to pay its debts, Greece needs a different economic plan to the one they’ve had until now. Greece is 2-3% of EU GDP, Spain is 12%. We are not in conditions to be threatened by the Bundesbank". As well Íñigo Errejón tweeted:  "Saqueo politics have already proven unjust and inefficient. The only thing left was for them to seem inevitable. That can be broken today". In a crowded rally in Valencia, Podemos secretary general sent the new slogan: “Tick, tock, tick, tock, the countdown for Rajoy’s government begins on January 31″. Podemos convened a mass rally "for the change" in Madrid, on Jan 31.

At this point I should post something about some uncomfortable issues concerning Pablo Iglesias -a certain Peter Pan complex- and other prominent spokesperson in Podemos, Juan Carlos Monedero -regarding the use of the money he received in exchange for consultancy works for several Latin American governments-.
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« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2015, 05:22:45 am »

Caja Madrid/ Bankia scandal: High Court targets all 78 officials who used 'black cards'

http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/01/28/inenglish/1422443024_651959.html

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The High Court has named all the former officials at the Caja Madrid and Bankia banks who used “black credit cards” between 1999 and 2012 as formal targets in the corporate abuse investigation – a total of 78 people.

Three officials who did not use these cards are being called in as witnesses.

Between 1999 and 2012, executives and board members at Caja Madrid, which later merged with other failed lenders to form Bankia, were given credit cards that drew money from a bank fund, but did not show up on any bank documents or job contracts.

Recipients racked up €15.2 million in bills for personal items, and the expenses were never declared to tax authorities even though bank bosses now say they counted as part of their salaries.

The scandal broke in October of last year, triggering a cascade of resignations and party suspensions going all the way up to Rodrigo Rato, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund and a veteran of Spanish politics who headed the lenders between 2010 and 2012.

Under pressure from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Rato volunteered to have his own Popular Party (PP) membership suspended while the investigation was underway.

Former officials include PP, PSOE and IU members, as well representatives from the UGT and CC.OO unions and employers' associations. "Who is who" in the 'black card' scandal:

http://www.eldiario.es/economia/GRAFICO-gastos-tarjetas-Caja-Madrid_0_309369334.html

The list includes 86 former board members. According to it, the ranking of expenditures with 'black cards' is topped by the former Director General of Caja Madrid Ildefonso Sánchez Barcoj, followed by José Antonio Moral Santín (IU), Ricardo Morado Iglesias and former Chairman Miguel Blesa (PP). 

Bankia was subject of a state bailout, the total amount of the rescue was around 20 billion Euros. The financial black hole of Bankia under the management of Miguel Blesa and Rodrigo Rato was estimated in 13.635 billion of Euros.

In Barcelona, the legal case involving former Catalan premier Jordi Pujol is underway. Pujol (aged 84) claims that his secret fortune came from his father, died in 1980. However, the inheritance is undocumented and the prosecutor sees "gaps and contradictions" in Pujol's story. The judge is trying to determine if the founder of Covergència is lying about the source of the wealth kept by Pujol in an account in Andorra. Several of Pujol's sons are under investigation for suspicious business dealings.

                                                                     
---

Podemos concluded a deal with Ganemos Madrid (a project of coalition involving IU, Equo and other organisations) a to run together in the municipal elections. According to a Ganemos press release, both agreed "a joint appeal to the Madrid citizenry to constitute a civic candidacy of popular unity". The details of the deal will be revealed today in a press conference. Apparently the name of the candidacy is still undecided; it will be neither Podemos nor Ganemos.

However, IU is broken and paralysed in Madrid. IU's regional executive recently adopted a resolution defending the coalition formula, which Podemos rejects. IU is facing a conflict in Madrid between the acting regional executive and the elected candidates Tania Sánchez and Mauricio Valiente. The latter are advocates of a convergence with Podemos and have urged the current regional leadership, already touched by the Caja Madrid scandal, to resign.   
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« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2015, 12:28:19 pm »

La Razón's subheadline is 'nos gusta España'? LOL.

Oh great posts btw. Please continue.

"We like Spain"? Huh
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