Can the leaders of a left wing party own a 600,000 euro house?

Left-wing party leaders, Pablo Iglesias and Irene Montero, have been under fire since the purchase of a 260-square-meter villa near Madrid for 600,000 euros.

Tonina Alomar
Tonina Alomar NewsMavens, Spain
Can the leaders of a left wing party own a 600,000 euro house? - NewsMavens
Irene Montero, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

Montero and Iglesias, leaders of the left-wing Podemos party, have been accused of betraying their principles after a newspaper announced that they were going to buy a 600,000 euro house in the outskirts of Madrid.

Iglesias is the founder and star of the party, which was created in the aftermath of anti-austerity protests that called for social rights and direct democracy. Montero is its spokesperson. Under the banner "Yes, We Can," Podemos promised to change not only the political landscape but also to create a more equal society and defend the interests of "normal" Spanish families.

 

In 2015, Iglesias tweeted against politicians who "go to live in houses in the suburbs and isolate themselves" and heavily criticized a politician who purchased a 600,000 euro loft. People, including the Podemos party members and leaders, now feel that the two leaders are joining the petty bourgeoisie by purchasing the property.

The issue has been talked about so much that Montero, who is expecting twins with Iglesias, said she feels her privacy is being violated. The couple defended their right to buy a house of their choice and insisted they will continue to defend, as always, anti-austerity politics and the working class. But, judging by the ongoing Twitter storm over the issue, the move has touched a nerve with Spaniards, and the story is not over.

Details from the story:

  • Montero and Iglesias will pay around €1,600 a month on their mortgage.
  • On a Facebook message, Montero wrote "We know that many Spanish families, including those with two salaries, can't allow themselves a mortgage like this, and that is why we understand it to be so important to defend dignified salaries for all men and women. Iglesias and I have spent time working on a family project and part of that consists of seeking a house," her statement continued.
  • On Saturday night, Iglesias and Montero announced a vote in which party members will decide whether they should carry on in their posts.
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