Politics is still easier from a newsroom than from a cabinet. Pablo Iglesias will not say the opposite. After co-founding the left-wing party Podemos (“We can”), in 2014, ignited the Spanish political debate by questioning the legacy of democratic transition after Franco’s death, then scrambling to convince the Socialist Party (PSOE) to form a coalition government, the 42-year-old returned to his first loves: the university and the media.
In September, after five months of silence and media abstinence, and a new haircut, short, symbolizing his new life, the one the right nicknamed el Coletas (“The ponytail”) became a columnist in two dailies, two radio stations and a news site, researcher at the Obert de Catalunya Institute and new director of the Podemos think tank, the 25M Democracia Institute.
His experience in political institutions was short-lived: appointed second vice-president of the government and minister of social rights, in charge of the 2030 agenda in January 2020, Pablo Iglesias left his post in April 2021 to compete in the Madrid regional elections of May 4, which he knew to be lost in advance. The very evening of his bitter defeat, he announced his withdrawal from political life, assuring that, “When someone ceases to be useful, he must know how to leave”.
An independence tropism
“I’m going back to what I did before: research and critical journalism. This is what I like the most and, I believe, what I do best ”, he admitted at the end of August on the Catalan pro-independence radio station Rac 1, where he became a regular speaker in Catalonia’s most listened to program, “El Món”. For him, his work in the media is a way of continuing his political struggle.
“The Spaniards no longer militate in parties but in the media. “Pablo Iglesias
“The media help create mental frameworks that help people think, argued the former communist activist, on Cadena Ser, Spain’s leading radio station and owned by the Prisa group (minority shareholder of World), where he speaks every Monday evening with the former socialist vice-president of the government Carmen Calvo and the conservative MEP José Manuel García-Margallo. Anyone with a political vocation, a desire for social transformation, must understand that what we listen to [dans les médias] teaches us to think, transforms us and is instrumental in making things happen. Because, if the changes are not made first in the minds of people, it is very difficult for them to materialize. “
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