Will Podemos rescue Spain’s unemployed youths?


Earlier this year, the electoral victory of Syriza in Greece marked the first government elected within the troubled eurozone to finally say no to European officials who for years have been pressing for less government spending and for sweeping economic reforms to remake Europe. While many thought it was impossible for a small country that made up just 2% of the 19-nation eurozone’s economy to meaningfully change Europe’s economic trajectory, it is already happening.

Last month, Greece received a four-month extension on its loan from international lenders. While some have viewed this as another example of Athens prolonging its debt troubles and ‘kicking the can down the road,’ it is a significant victory for Syriza. After all, this marked the first time Greece has been able to renegotiate the terms of its bailout. And on Monday, officials are expected to present its proposals to eurozone finance ministers. If the proposals…

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2 thoughts on “Will Podemos rescue Spain’s unemployed youths?

  1. Hi Geoff. I’ve been getting a sense that the ECB and IMF are out to tame Syrzia before the Spanish election lest a Podemos victory triggers a domino effect through Italy, Portugal, Ireland and, perhaps, even Britain. Should Podemos follow Syrzia to power what do you think that would portend for the EU and austerity?

    1. I entirely agree. I’m not sure what will happen should Podemos win. I’ve never really been in the game of prediction. However, I see two scenarios. The first and most likely scenario is that Podemos won’t win. The PP and the PSOE will form a grand coalition to save their skins. The second scenario is that Podemos wins but with a smaller margin than Syriza. This latter scenario will be conditioned by the intervening months in Greece. If Greece is forced to exit, there will be short term pain which will no doubt effect the mandate given to Podemos. If they win, they will not have a mandate to play the exit card (Spexit?). So they may find themselves in an even worse position than Syriza. I think the fatal flaw of these anti-austerity parties is their belief that there is room in the EU for an alternative to neoliberalism. In their defense, however, if they campaigned on exit they probably wouldn’t have won. I think Syriza needs to go back to the electorate and call a referendum on exit – but not so soon that it raises the stakes in Spain.

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