A few days after Spanish Finance Minister Luis De Guindos categorically denied that the critical January 25 Greek elections have any relevance with Spain, and just a few hours after the leader of leftist Podemos, Pablo Iglesias Turrion, sent a message to Greek voters in support of main opposition SYRIZA, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a surprise visit to Athens.
The two Premiers will hold a joint press conference, during which Rajoy is expected to support Samaras ahead of the upcoming electoral battle against SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras. According to Spanish media leaks, Rajoy’s ruling Popular Party (PP) is expected to structure its campaign against Podemos – which is currently leading the opinion polls – in a similar way New Democracy has done in Greece. It will contrast the stability offered by Rajoy’s conservatives against the “chaos” that will allegedly equal a Podemos victory. It should be noted that 2015 is a year of triple elections in Spain.
On Saturday, Spain’s Finance Minister denied that his party is already in an election campaign, while when asked if the Greek general elections can be seen as “the first round of the Spanish elections,” he replied that “Greece is Greece and Spain is Spain.” In a similar sense last week, Rajoy said he does not fear a “political contagion” from Greece to Spain and that the euro remains an “irreversible” reality.
At the same time, the opinion polls in Greece give SYRIZA a steady lead over ruling New Democracy, whilst Spanish polls project Rajoy’s PP in second or even third place and trending downwards, when Podemos is given a clear lead. Tsipras “also knows, as we do, that winds of change are blowing and that the people of Southern Europe and their sovereign political forces are ready to change course and advance towards a Europe where social justice and popular sovereignty are the bases of a democracy that will know how to beat fear,” Iglesias Turrion wrote in Spanish daily newspaper “El Mundo” in late December 2014, revealing that the first “battle” for the European South will be given in 12 days from now in Greece.
As Spanish newspaper “El Pais” revealed, Samaras and Rajoy agreed on the visit during the Paris solidarity march against terrorism last Sunday.