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The Emerging European Politics
As Goes Syriza, So Goes Podemos

During the recent Greek election, the Spanish leftist-populist party made no secret of it support for far-left Syriza, so much so that the two party leaders campaigned together. Now, Podemos may have bound itself so closely to the Greek lefties that its electoral fate could follow the fortunes of the Syriza government in Athens. The Financial Times reports:

“Syriza! Podemos! Ven-ce-remos!”

The three words — the last translating as “we will win” — are likely to be on the lips of Podemos supporters on Saturday, as they descend on Madrid for the first mass rally staged by Spain’s new anti-establishment party since it was founded just over a year ago.

… But Podemos has only contested one election so far, and still lacks a fully-formed political programme. “There is a lot of uncertainty over who they are, what their agenda is and over the consequences of their policies,” [Political expert] Mr Fernández-Albertos said.

“That means people will look at Greece and compare. The situation in Greece will be much more important [for Podemos] than we expected.”

The emergence of pan-European politics, in which movements are slowly aligning as broadly pro-Mediterranean and in favor of relaxing the euro’s monetary policy on the one hand, or pro-austerity and in favor of a strong euro on the other, cuts both ways. Until now, it has helped populist parties, mostly on the far left, find a common way to appeal to a democratic need and emerge almost from nothing into real political forces. But now one of them has to govern—and all will be judged.

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  • Kevin

    I’ve thougt that the Italian and especially Spainish gov’ts, amongst others, might be very keen to see Syriza fail. If Syriza succeeds it could undermine the electoral prospects of center-left and center-right parties across Southern Europe.

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