This photo gallery compiles some claims about the implications of Brexit in Spain, as published in the Spanish press following the EU referendum in the UK and the Spanish General Elections in June 2016.
Jordi Albacete, Tanausú Vilches y Laura Medina
The Brexit referendum in the UK was held on the 23rd of June. Spanish General Elections took place just three days after, on the 26th of June. Some of these claims link Spanish Euroscepticism with the British Europhobia which led Britain to exit Europe. However, this bond is denied by the politicians of the Spanish new left who hold critical views of Europe. The proposals of these politicians to transform Europe are contrary to the neoliberal ones advocated by Brexiters.
Míriam Muro and Domingo Soriano, journalists from Libertad Digital: “Just a month ago, Iglesias [candidate for Unidos Podemos] approved a document where they specifically asked to ‘exit the EU and the euro’ and established a new union inspired on the Bolivarian ALBA propelled by Hugo Chávez(…)”
Álvaro Carbajal, journalist from El Mundo: “(…) We don´t know in what moment of the last 4 weeks Garzón has gone from being the leader of the party which was in favour of exiting the euro to become the strongest advocate of the EU. It is also unclear in what moment of the last two years Iglesias has changed from first deciding that the EU is the centre of all evil to believing that it is the only option for Spain. Maybe the polls which state that the majority of Spaniards want to remain as part of the UE and the euro”.
Aitor Riveiro, journalist from El Diario: “Pablo Iglesias has denied that Podemos or any of the parties participant in Unidos Podemos support the exit of Spain from the EU. The candidate has reminded that both IU´s leader, Alberto Garzón, and himself believe that it is necessary to delve into the democratization of the European institutions, and has singled out austerity as the main cause for the rise of Euroscepticism.”
InfoLibre: “In an interview for Onda Cero, Iglesias assured that it would be ‘very serious’ if Brexit wins at the referendum that will take place next Thursday in the UK. `In a moment like this one it would be bad news if the UK doesn´t remain with us´, he stated.”
Álvaro Carbajo, journalist from El Mundo: “Regarding the euro, there are conflicting views between Podemos and Izquierda Unida. None of them are willing to exit the single currency, however, there are statements made months ago by Iglesias on October 2013, before establishing the party, claiming that the ‘solution’ to the Spanish crisis required ‘taking control of the monetary policy exiting the euro’. It was also when he advocated for not paying the debt. Now, as with many other things, his opinion has changed and he defends neither.”
Expansión: “For Iglesias Brexit´s victory is bad news for Europe and the europeans. He reclaimed to the other Spanish political parties that they have ‘enough foresight not to mix international matters during their political campaigns’. He took the opportunity to demand that his party defends that the euro is ‘an unavoidable framework’ of the communal project.”
Francisco G. Basterra, journalist from El País: “The European elite holds its breath, from Berlin to Madrid, as well as in Brussels. Populism approaches a double triumph, both in the UK and in Spain. (…) Xenophobic and Eurosceptic populism would reach new political heights. In Spain, the fusion of left-wing populists and independents envisions a possibility of stopping the PSOE party, and certify the defeat of the European social democracy.”
Pablo Iglesias, General Secretary of Podemos [answering the question of whether there are elements o communism in their ideology]: “[…] The government’s duty is to reallocate. That social democratic space has been occupied by us. But ideologically, we feel we are in a much wider space. Now we have been left alone and there are basically two options: the supporters of free-market totalitarianism and those who believe that democracy must have some effect on the economy.”