The fight about Greece’s bailout deal that is taking place within the Eurozone and the EU is not just about the sums of money that Greece may or may not get, and the reforms that it may or may not implement in return. There is a deeper fight about the nature of the European project and even the soul of Europe that cannot be ignored.
This Sunday Spain goes to the polls. Municipal councils and the governments of most of Spain´s autonomous regions (not Catalonia and the Basque Country, though, which hold their regional elections on different dates) are up for grabs. Beyond the local impact, what everybody is watching for in these elections is the likely redistribution of Spain´s nationwide political preferences, in anticipation of the general election due before the end of 2015. A political earthquake may be in the making with long-lasting consequences for Spain, and for Spain´s input into the European integration process.
Elections on Sunday for the Parliament of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, in the South of Spain, provided a first reality check of the strength of the new political party Podemos. In the Andalusian Parliament, Podemos will start its journey as the third force, with 15 deputies out of 109. The question remains what will happen in Spain´s general election due at the end of 2015.
The high drama that is unfolding following the coming to power in Greece of a new government led by left-wing SYRIZA, and similar trends in Spain with the most recent massive show of force by Podemos at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, signal a new era in European and possibly global politics. This is no passing phenomenon but rather an inevitable result of the unsustainability of the existing financial system and the way it is managed in the European context and beyond. This sort of “European Spring”, thankfully not bloody nor as chaotic as its Arab counterpart, can bring good and bad things, depending on how it will be handled by the main protagonists, including the Greeks themselves but also the Germans, other EU nations, and the EU and Eurozone institutions…