Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green Party Launched in Spain

I've often wondered why there was no Green Party in Spain, and by often I mean I once wondered it. Well I need wonder no longer because they've decided to set one up.

Spain has an active environmentalist movement but the government sadly is not always sympathetic, for example they abolished the environment ministry two years ago subsuming it within the department of agriculture.

Alexander Sanchez, head of SEO Birdlife and Juantxo Lopez de Uralde, former head of Spanish Greenpeace (pictured right doing something weird) made the announcement this weekend and ICV, a Catalonian Green Party which receives 9.5% of the regional vote and has Parliamentary seats is backing the initiative towards a national party.

Greens have certainly stood at elections but have previously been part of the United Left which has disappointed many environmentalists by backing subsidies for new coal power stations. It looks like there's a reasonably friendly parting of the ways and with a ready made, if modest, electoral base and well known figureheads they certainly have potential.

El Pais says that the party will be of the left, but not necessarily of the traditional variety. De facto leader Uralde also pointed out that the party would occupy a unique political space as the only party to oppose bullfighting, or with a commitment to renewable power.

Uralde says that years ago ecology was just about seals and whales but now it is a far broader political project. He went on to say "La aventura puede ser loca, pero los aventureros estamos cuerdos", which I'm loosely translating as "It might be a crazy adventure, but we adventurers are level headed."

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