Why the Spanish people must get out and vote

By Yanis Varoufakis, DiEM25 co-founder and Luis Martín, DiEM25 Political Coordinator

On Sunday, the people of Spain will go to the polling stations for the fourth time in four years. These repeated elections are a mere reflection of Europe’s never ending economic and social crisis and its oligarchy’s failure to respond to a crisis of its own making.

Despite being among the Eurozone troika’s most obedient prisoners, Spain’s political class have not managed to escape the crisis – which is now in the process of taking another nasty turn. With Germany in recession, Spain’s private debt-driven pseudo-growth is fizzling out, revealing the crisis’ permanence.

The same crisis was responsible for the toxic magnification of tensions in regions like Catalonia, the result being the political prisoners in a democratic European state and a EU claiming, inexcusably, that this is an internal Spanish affair.

The extreme right led by Vox continues to gain ground as the latest polls show that it might significantly increase its presence in the Spanish parliament, even ahead of Podemos.

The Left in Spain, having failed to articulate a progressive, internationalist European agenda, continues to fragment with the surge of Íñigo Errejón’s own party. Even the Spanish Greens have split.

Where do we go from here?

Spanish voters must see next Sunday’s election as an emergency and vote for whichever progressive force they choose. Above all else they must avoid abstention so as to shrink, to the fullest possible extent, Vox’s presence in parliament.

Then, on Monday morning, should the composition of the Spanish parliament allow for a progressive government, they need to come together and step up so as to address the urgent social and political challenges the people face, and play a leading role in the European drama that has turned a euro crisis into a catastrophe, both for the majority of working people and for our environment.

In a meeting in Athens last month, we as DiEM25 agreed to make Spain one of our priority countries for pursuing our Green New Deal for Europe. Thus, we are building our structures in Spain to better organise ourselves there. At the international level, our organisation is proud to now have two Spanish members in its coordinating body.

We are in the process of reaching out to Spanish social and political actors to strengthen our policy proposals and adapt them to the Spanish context; from migration and refugees to our Green New Deal for Europe.

We will seek to build on our position on the Catalonian crisis and will play a facilitating role to find a meaningful compromise with a pan-European approach.

And so our message to our fellow Europeans in Spain is: get out and vote on Sunday, come together on Monday morning and join us in the struggle to transform Spain and Europe.

Originally published in The New Statesman

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