Anti-austerity party sees itself leading Spanish opposition

SHAFAQNA – The head of Spain’s ascendant anti-austerity party Podemos said in an interview published Sunday he believes his movement can replace the Socialists as the country’s main opposition group.Secretary general Pablo Iglesias told Spanish daily El Pais that voters will have to choose between Podemos and the conservative ruling Popular Party (PP) — not the veteran Socialist party — in the November election.

“The scenario taking shape for the general election shows there will be two choices: stay with the PP or choose the political change incarnated by Podemos,” Iglesias said.

The Podemos leader also took a shot at the head of Spain’s Socialist party, saying Pedro Sanchez “is lost, he is doubting.”

Born of the movement against the austerity cuts put in place after Spain’s real estate bubble popped in 2008, Podemos won five seats in the European parliament in May 2014.

Iglesias has also forged close ties with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras, who heads anti-austerity party Syriza.

The men are to appear at a Syriza rally in Athens on Thursday, three days ahead of snap elections expected to favour Tsipras’s party.

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