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100,000 people march in Madrid to support Podemos party

Source: Xinhua - Sun 1st Feb 2015
100,000 people march in Madrid to support Podemos party

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of the Spanish left wing political party Podemos took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday in a march organized by the party.

An estimated 100,000 people according to police sources, including attendees from over 260 coaches which had made their way to the capital from all over Spain took part in what was dubbed the "March for Change."

This march can be seen as the first move of the local regional and general electoral campaign by Podemos, which has close links to the Greek party Syriza which last week swept to power in Athens.

It is also the culmination of an incredible year for a political formation which although formed just a year ago by Pablo Iglesias, a former university lecturer, currently tops the opinion polls in Spain ahead of the ruling Popular Party (PP) and the Socialist Party (PSOE), who between them in one form or other have governed Spain since the death of Franco in 1975.

Podemos' arrival on the political scene caused shockwaves when the party won five seats in elections for the European Parliament in May.

Iglesias' party has focused on attacking austerity policies and the widespread corruption of what it calls the traditional "caste," of Spanish leaders.

In order to do this Podemos has made effective use of the social media, which has allowed it to reach the public, which has become alienated from the politics of the PP and the PSOE, while party leaders such as Iglesias have also shown themselves to be effective communicators on TV talk shows.

"This is a mobilization to show that 2015 will see a government of the people," Iglesias had commented.

"We can dream, but we are taking our dreams very seriously," said Iglesias in a speech in which he added, "power is not in Davos."

"They have tried to ruin our country with what they call 'austerity'... now it is plan for a citizens' rescue .... Corruption is when the richest 1% of the population have the same wealth as 73% of Spaniards," said the Podemos leader, who highlighted that the number of rich people in Spain had increased since the start of the crisis.

Recommended Reading :

* Podemos to march through Madrid Saturday

* Podemos "Most popular party in Spain" : Poll

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