A communist takeover in Spain to the sound of applause
Europe's debtor nations are rapidly being radicalized as communists and other left-wing radicals run on promises that they will ditch responsible governance and return to the days of massive welfare spending.
The latest example is Spain, where radicals have taken over municipal administrations in almost all of the major cities. The Spanish version of Syriza – the radical-left Greek party running that country into the ground – is called Podemos, and it's led by Pablo Iglesias, a pupil of Venezuela's late dictator Hugo Chávez. With national elections six months away, and both the center-right parties and socialists hugely unpopular, it seems very possible that Podemos will become the first communist government in western Europe freely elected by the people.
Just what is Podemos's agenda?
Spaniards voted against Rajoy so enthusiastically, in fact, that almost nobody had bothered to read the political program of the new parties to which they threw their support. Hence the frenetic Googling as the results came in.
What voters discovered was that they’d cast their ballots massively for a coalition of the extreme left that promised more government spending, new municipal taxes, free housing for all, water and electricity to households that cannot afford them, and punishment for real estate speculation. They would favor small businesses and impose restrictions on the activity of large corporations, declare the cities “live-animal-show-free zones,” and create public land banks for agro-ecological farming.
The Petri dishes where these experiments are to be carried out now include Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia and Santiago de Compostela.
Despite its crash in the final results, the Partido Popular still got the most votes, but that is not enough. The pacts made by the parties of the left, both the new and traditionalists, will prevent the right from governing in cities where, until now, it held sway.
The only thing that could wipe out the communist aspirations would be a great national pact between the Partido Popular and the Socialists. From Brussels to the business community of Madrid we’ve heard timid proposals to that effect, and even talk about the formation of a "concentration government," a term harking back almost 100 years when efforts were made to include representatives of the whole political spectrum in the name of national unity. Otherwise, it is said, Spain coul be "at the mercy of extremists."
The program is completely delusional, of course. They expect the rest of the EU to step in when another debt crisis is created by this massive overspending. The question for Podemos, as it is with Syriza, is if they really believe their propaganda that they can spend, and spend, and spend, without any consequences. Voters weary of austerity are enthusastic to believe in the tooth fairy, which is why this far-left movement will sweep southern Europe, throwing out leaders who want responsible governance in favor of those who say you can have all these government goodies without having to worry about stupid things like deficits, debt, and bonds.
And then, when the inevitable happens and the economies collapse, the communists will blame others, as the Greeks are blaming the EU and Germany for their inability to spend tax dollars wisely. And, at least in Greece, the voters are buying it.