Spain | Philosophers on the Rise

Article published on June 7, 2009
community published
Article published on June 7, 2009
Spain’s political system favours two long-time established parties, the People’s Party and the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party). Next to these two, there exist some smaller parties, who especially cover regional topics of the independence-minded Catalonian and Basque region. Since September 2007, this has changed.
A new party has emerged: the UPD (Unity, Progress, and Democracy) arose from the Basque people’s movement ¡Basta Ya! (“That’s enough!”) which had turned against the Basque terrorism and the way the President Zapatero’s government dealt with it. In December 2000, the movement has won the Sakharov prize for the defence of human rights and freedoms awarded by the European Parliament.

savater_diez.jpg Many leading Spanish intellectuals, for example the philosophers Fernando Savater and Carlos Martínez Gorriarán, support the young party. Rosa Díez, former member of the Socialist party and of the European Parliament, is now the party’s front-runner. The experienced politician wants change the firmly established structure of the political system so that smaller parties like the UPD will be more successful. At the 2008 parliament elections, the party gained 1.19% of the votes. The European Parliament elections are now the next big test for how well the new party has been able to rally support within the Spanish people.