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Spain: Debate erupts in Podemos around agreement to join PSOE government



Opposition to the content of the deal quickly emerged within and beyond Castilla-La Mancha, with the Anticapitalists current, representing around 10% of the total Podemos membership, prominent but not alone in its criticism. Declaring his support for #TwoQuestions, Podemos’s second MP in the Castilla-La Mancha parliament, Anticapitalists’ sympathiser David Llorente, said that «an agreement to govern with the PSOE as a minority would be a mistake».

On July 21, Isidro López and Raul Camargo, Podemos MPs in the Madrid regional parliament and supporters of Anticapitalists, dramatised what they saw as the stakes in the Castilla-La Mancha vote with this comment on the web-based daily Público:

Over the last week we have seen a profound shift in the political direction of Podemos. Contrary to the majority understanding of what the results of Vistalegre II [Podemos’s February all-Spanish congress] meant, there is a turn towards a dynamic of governmental agreements with the PSOE... Given a correlation of forces favourable to the PSOE, a policy of generalised governmental agreements means ... accepting our conversion into the left wing of the regeneration of the regime.

A well-known supporter of Pablo Iglesias also issued a warning shot. Diego Cañamero, former leader of the Andalusian Workers Union (SAT) and a Podemos MP in the Spanish parliament, wrote in July 18 discussion section of the web-based daily El Diario:

In this complex context, I believe—with prudence, modesty and all the respect in the world towards the comrades who are designing our political strategy—that the PSOE is not our natural ally ... Getting closer to the PSOE while Podemos does not greatly surpass it in popular and parliamentary support, will only serve to rehabilitate, cure and clean up the worst PSOE. And worse still, we could get so seriously contaminated that ordinary people stop seeing us as an alternative.»

In answer to the campaign for the issues of budget support and entry into the government to be put separately, García Molina asked Podemos members over the social networks whether they considered «the Socialist Party or ourselves as more to be trusted in the implementation of our own policies». He added (as quoted in the July 19 Diario de Castilla-La Mancha):

Voting for the budget without being able to enter government would be to go back to the starting line. To go back to giving the PSOE tools that are ours but which we would leave in their hands and which would be subject to their wishes as to whether they are used or not, and without any control mechanisms or guarantees.


The ballot result

The criticism had little effect on the membership ballot on Podemos’s agreement with García-Page. With just under half the active membership participating, 77.98% voted in favour of the agreement and only 22.02% against. María Díaz, Podemos’s local organisational secretary commented: «It is a historic result, surpassing all previous levels of participation in membership consultations in Castilla-La Mancha.»

She added that «we are in no way going to disappoint the confidence of the overwhelming majority who have understood that this is the moment to show that we know how to fight and we know how to govern.»

Calling on the minority to accept the result of the vote, García Molina said that «we are maturing without getting old» and that «the question is not so much about being in a government with the PSOE, but rather about whether we are capable of sharing the business of government with the PSOE, knowing we are two different parties.»


Spain Threatens Potential Military Takeover of Catalonia As Referendum Looms

"Spain's conservative Popular Party (PP) government is continuing its clampdown on the referendum on Catalan independence scheduled for October 1..."


Madrid Struggles to Close Catalonia Polling Stations on Eve of Referendum (and vid)

"Catalonia is gearing up for an independence referendum on Sunday despite attempts to hinder the process by the government in Madrid, which considers it illegal. Police trying to seal polling stations have faced resistance from occupiers keen to vote."

Echoes of Franco in Spain's 'Political Repression' of Catalonia - 70 Academics Including Chomsky

"Prominent North American academics have signed a letter supporting Sunday's Catalonia independence referendum. Noam Chomsky was among the signatures criticising the Spanish government's 'political repression' in the region."


Don't we have a topic about Catalonia yet?



'The Rule of Law Such As Ours'

"(And as imposed in Catalonia)"

"Rajoy with his repression in Catalonia is banging in the last nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of a regime, that was supposed to represent a total break with the Franco dictatorship.

Yet the Catalan referendum is about all of Spain. The democratic freedoms of Spain's entire population are at stake in what is still being presented as just another Catalan hissy fit..."


Catalonia Pushes Ahead With Independence Referendum


-" Catalan referendum activists have been shot at in the town of Manlleu overnight while protecting a polling station at a local school.

- Nationalists perform Nazi salute at Madrid protest..."


lagatta4 wrote:

Don't we have a topic about Catalonia yet?


Apparently not.


Activists Face Police at Polling Stations as Voting Begins in Catalonia - RT Special Live Coverage

"Clashes with police outside polling stations. Madrid has also ordered the arrests of Catalan officials and the suspension of the vote."

Shocking and brutal images of Spanish police smashing down the doors of Barcelona polling stations.



"It is hard in Europe today to accept the use of force and even the threat of arms in an attempt to prevent the Catalans from exercising the natural right to natural self-determination. My experience, as the former President of Slovenia at the time our country decided for independence, beholds me to call for a cessation of the use of force and threats of military intervention...' - Milan Kucan, former president of Slovenia

"When you use the tools of the state to forcibly stop people from carrying out a peaceful vote, you cease to be a democracy."


"Police violence against citizens in Catalonia is shocking. The Spanish government must act to end it now."


Joan Tafalla: 'In Catalonia, It Is All In The Hands Of The Popular Initiative'

"If Spain wants to preserve its unity as a political country (formed in turn by various countries and peoples) it can only do it if it manages, in a democratic way, to remove the People's Party from power and open a constitutional process that gives the peoples the right to self-determination..."


"They broke my fingers on purpose, one by one.' This is what the Spanish police is doing in Catalonia."


Finger-breaking dates back to Franco, and the older of us will remember how it was exported to Chile.  There are many deliberate Fascist references on the part of the police and the "N0" thugs, including outright Nazi ones (I'm not calling all NO supporters thugs - some are old socialists and communists). 

Manon Massé of Québec solidaire is in Barcelona now.


Oppose the State Crackdown on the Catalan Independence Referendum

"Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fascist regime of Francisco Franco collapsed amid mass working class struggles in the 1970s. After a decade of deep economic crisis, social austerity and mass unemployment across Europe, Spain is at the breaking point. 

As Madrid unleashes draconian police repression to block the referendum, with the support of governments across Europe and America, Spain is teetering on the brink of dictatorship and civil war..."


#CatalanReferendum - Results by the Catalan Government, (missing 400 poll stations)

Breaking: Catalan Referendum

Total Votes: 2,262

Yes: 2,020,140

No: 176,565

Blank: 45,586

Null: 20,129


"People banging pots and pans in Barcelona, the banging spreading from street to street."


"Please Share This Statement By Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, on the Catalan Referendum."


The Case Against Catalan Secession

"Catalans should be wary of breaking a successful, historical partnership on a nationalist whim..."


"BDS Catalunya concerned that some Catalan nationalists see Israel as model for independence."


Catalonia Vows To Go To International Courts, Calls On EU Sanctions Against Spain For Referendum Violence

"Announcing a two-pronged response strategy, officials added that a process to institute anti-Madrid sanctions in the EU is already underway. 'We will initiate formalities to activate the mechanism of sanctions...We think that the actions of the Spanish state that the whole world is witnessing, put the image of the EU as a guarantor of democracy and human rights at risk, Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paul Romeva told a news conference in Barcelona Sunday."

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Very good Guardian article by a Catalan woman living in a room in England



As Quebec Separatists Watch, Canada Shies From Criticizing Spain Over Police Violence at Catalan Referendum

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Madrid says the vote was illegal and police sent to prevent voting and confiscate ballot boxes were acting on a constitutional court order.

A valid government cannot be bound by a vote that it did not sanction.  But what makes it "illegal"?  The government doesn't need to stop such a vote when it's not bound to respect such a vote.

Catalonia’s government says 90 per cent of voters favoured independence. But turnout was less than half.

I'm not sure this is a rock on which I choose to make my stand, or anything.  But it seems to me that if there were a vote on whether the "new" stoplight colour should be purple or white, and only 40% of potential voters voted, the 60% who chose not to vote wouldn't be indicative of anything.

But if there were a vote on (let's say) whether we should re-institute the draft, and only 40% of potential voters voted, I'd be somewhat inclined to think that the 60% who chose not to vote would be, in effect, voting "No".  In other words, I'm inclined to think that big changes do require support in a way that not changing doesn't and shouldn't.


Spain's King Felipe VI Says Catalonian Independence Bid Illegal and Undemocratic

"The Catalan leader has vowed to declare independence from Spain in a matter of days..."


700K Protest Spain's Referendum Crackdown in Barcelona - Local Police

"They are asking, they are shouting at national police forces to leave the region of Catalonia..."


Catalan Referendum : Region's Independence in 'Matter of Days'

Interview with Catalan leader Carles Puigedemont


Catalan Leader Vows to Proclaim Independence Within Days As King Felipe VI Blasts 'Disloyalty'

"Earlier, Puigedemont said he would agree to a dialogue mediated by the EU if Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy greenlights the proposal. 'It is clear that things cannot go on like this: mediation cannot be renounced just as dialogue was before. We do not see a more effective way than sitting and talking' he said."


'Out With Occupiers!': Spanish Police Evicted From Hotels in Catalonia (and vid)

"Hotels around Catalonia evicted up to 500 Spanish police officers from their premises on late Monday, amid a local outcry and mass protests surrounding their buildings."


Why Isn't NATO Bombing Madrid For 78 Days? - Fmr British Diplomat (and vid)

Great question...

"Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic did not mince his words when he voiced a rather obvious question: 'How did you proclaim the secession of Kosovo to be legal, even without a referendum, and how did 22 European Union countries legalize this secession, while destroying European law and the foundations of European law, on which the European policy are based?"

Remember Kosovo Canucklheads and how eagerly Canada participated...?


Quoting the National Pest?



Catalonia Parliament To Discuss Independence on Monday, Defying Spain - Official

"Catalonia's Parliament will meet on Monday despite the decision of Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the session..."


Catalonia Versus Crimea: The World of Difference Between Referendums

"Look back to 2014 and it was a very different story from The Guardian on Crimea's referendum..."


Catalonia's Referendum Unmasks Authoritarianism in Spain

"I have long worried about the rise of authoritarianism in the European Union..."