Author(s): Pablo Iglesias
'Now is a time of systemic change, at all levels. This is a call for rejuvenation, radicalization, and effective communications to carry out the ideological battle, as well as a real aspiration to govern.' The political party, Podemos, stands on the edge of a historic victory in Spain. Only formed in 2014 in response to austerity measures imposed by the EU, the party gained 5 seats in the European Parliament that year but is expected to become the new government following elections in December this year. In Contesting Democracy, party leader, Iglesias, sets out his agenda for social justice, a fair economy and a new democratic Europe. Contesting Democracy looks as the problems of Spain but also sees that there is a global challenge to democracy that needs to be resisted. This consists of the Troika, large corporations and 'the Wall Street Party' that make decisions and control economies without engaging with the people whose lives are affected. The Great Recession, he shows, was an excuse to dismantle the welfare state and bolster the power of the elites.
There are few precedents for such an explosive political ascent in modern western Europe Podemos has thrived because it has shredded the old left rulebook. Owen Jones Iglesias and his Podemos party are radically shaking up Spain s political establishment. "New York Times" Iglesias is an outspoken critic of political elites in Spain and Europe, and their austerity-led response to the recent financial crisis. "Financial Times""
Pablo Iglesias Turrion was a university lecturer in Madrid and a TV presenter of the leading political news show until 2014. In that year he formed Podemos and stood, and won a seat, in the European Parliament elections. The party gained 100,000 members in its first 8 weeks. As he was sworn in to become a MEP he said: 'I swear to abide by the constitution until the citizens of my country change it in order to recover sovereignty and social rights.'