By Jason Moore
You would have thought that Chancellor Angela Merkel had enough on her hands dealing with the new anti-austerity Greek government but now the Spanish government are doing their best to muddy the waters even further. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fears the new Greek government of Alexis Tsipras and privately he probably wants them to fail miserably. Why? because Tsipras stands on a similar platform as Pablo Iglesias, leader of the new protest party, Podemos, which is rapidly becoming the second force in Spanish politics, after Rajoy´s Partido Popular. I suppose you can see the Rajoy logic, if Tsipras fails then Podemos will also fail in Spain. So Spain is doing all it can, unofficially ofcourse, to undermine the Greek government. While some European states are arguing for a softly-softly approach Spain and Portugal want Greece called into line. Now, to some extent they are right. Both Spain and Portugal have been forced to make major economic sacrifices and Rajoy´s government is deeply unpopular as a direct result. So the last thing he needs is for a new upstart talking anti-austerity when he has been lecturing Spaniards on austerity. And then there is Podemos. If the European Union delivers a big economic blow to Greece then Rajoy can turn around and say that Spain will receive the same treatment if Podemos is elected to power. Who said that the European Union was all about being good neighbours!
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