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Spanish anti-austerity party rally draws tens of thousands

Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 01:29

Tens of thousands march in Madrid for Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos, whose policies and surging pre-election popularity have drawn comparisons with Greece's new Syriza rulers. Yiming Woo reports.

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Tens of thousands gather in Madrid in the biggest show of support yet for Spain's anti-austerity party Podemos. The name means "we can" in Spanish -- and it's a promise of change from leader Pablo Iglesias. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PODEMOS LEADER PABLO IGLESIAS, SAYING: "Today we have the dream of a better country, but we haven´t filled this square to keep dreaming. We're here to make our dream come true in 2015. Dreams have to be pushed and this year we're going to fight to make the political change arrive. This year we are starting on something new. This is the year of change and this year we're going to beat the Partido Popular in the elections." Supporters are chanting "yes we can". Many are tired of cuts in government spending and angry at the country's business and political elites. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SUPPORTER OF ANTI-AUSTERITY PARTY, PODEMOS, JOSE MARIA JACOBO, SAYING: "We must change this. It is the only way, to stay united and fight 'the caste', to kick out all of those politicians who are taking everything from us. They even try to take our dignity away from us. But that they won't take that from us. They won't take our dignity." The party's currently topping opinion polls in the run-up to elections this year, and is drawing comparisons with the new leftwing government in Greece. Spain's emerging from a seven-year economic slump as one of the euro zone's fastest growing countries. But the hardship has yet to ease for thousands where nearly one in four of the workforce remains out of a job.

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Spanish anti-austerity party rally draws tens of thousands

Sunday, February 01, 2015 - 01:29