Party of the Month
This month we take a closer look at a brand new political initiative, but one that is already Party of the Month for the second time. EQUO is a political project aiming to unite the Greens in Spain, and it is running for elections in November for the first time in its very short history.
Early elections take place in Spain on November 20 th . The socialist Zapatero government has not managed to formulate an adequate answer to the crisis that has struck Spain hard and lost popular support, therefore precipitating early elections were organised.
The elections will be for the 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies, which will determine the next Prime Minister of Spain. Elections will also be held for the 208 directly elected seats in the upper house, the Senate.
EQUO collected around 80,000 endorsements from all over Spain. This means that EQUO will run for elections in 43 provinces. In 5 provinces there will be no EQUO list; in Catalonia EQUO has reached an agreement not to run against European Green Party Member ICV.
EQUO stands very good chances to see at least two elected Members in the Madrid constituency, and in this case to form a Parliamentary group in the national Parliament, the Cortes 1 .
EQUO: young but experienced
EQUO is a social and political movement that, after one year of activity as a foundation, decided to run in the general elections of November 20th. It was founded by a group of people who shared a common path of working for environmental sustainability and social equity, including Former Greenpeace director Juan Lopez de Uralde.
Now EQUO is present in most of Spain and has over 2000 partners and 7000 people who are part of the Equomunidad, the EQUO community.
EQUO is politically rooted in Spain's environmental movements, participatory democracy organisations and human rights advocates. It is also committed to a different economic model, tailored to Spanish citizens and based on the democratization of financial institutions, the promotion of green jobs and a progressive tax reform to ensure the quality of public services.
The programme and political action of EQUO revolves around three main axes: Sustainability, Economy and Society, and Democracy and Human Rights.
To get the Spanish economy out of the crisis, EQUO is firmly committed to the creation of Green jobs. These jobs will be created through the overhaul of the Spanish energy sector, the development of greener transport systems, the renovation and refitting of houses, organic farming, sustainable tourism and waste management. It is anticipated that these green initiatives will result in the creation of two million jobs over 4 years.
EQUO also advocates the reduction of the working week to 35 hours.
Changing the taxation system is also one of its manifesto commitments. More concretely, EQUO wants to improve the law related to tax evasion, calls for the creation a VAT rate of 25% for luxury goods and the introduction of a CO 2 tax to fight climate change.
In addition, Equo has spoken out clearly against the social cuts and advocates clear and unequivocal support for Spain's education and public health systems.
Concerning sustainable energy supply, EQUO advocates a change of model that would allow Spain to reach a stage of 100% renewable energy in 2050. Furthermore, EQUO rejects nuclear energy and supports a nuclear phase-out in Spain.
Regarding the agricultural sector, EQUO wants to damp down on speculative practices in the food market and ensure fair prices for both farmers and consumers.
Democracy and Human Rights
EQUO takes a firm stance against corruption and for transparency and citizens' participation.
Among its proposals is the adoption of a Freedom of Information law for the public sector, the recognition that all information generated or held by public bodies remains the property of the relevant individuals public domain. EQUO also wants stricter laws to fight political corruption.
The new party proposes a reform of the electoral law to move towards greater proportionality, and a reform of the Senate to a chamber with specific powers to give true representation to the territories.
EQUO hopes to be the surprise of November 20th by proposing new alternatives for 21st century Spain.
EQUO doesn’t want to run a traditional election campaign. It was born with the will to change things, and with the belief that the time of traditional parties is over. Therefore EQUO wants to make a difference also with its election campaign.
However, it needs financial support to be able to make the EQUO project – a concrete, credible and transforming project – a reality. A personal donations campaign has been launched to allow the party to demonstrate its full potential at the National Elections on November 20th. How can you donate to EQUO? You can read it all here .
The hand over of the more than 80,000 endorsement signatures
EQUO on the net
1 A parliamentary group in the Spanish Cortes can be founded with a minimum of 5 members. A parliamentary group means more resources and therefore much more effectiveness in the political functioning of Spanish Greens throughout the country. Spain has regional constituencies, and the expected 2 seats for EQUO in Madrid would add to others foreseen by polls to EQUO coalitions and allies in other regions, which would allow the first Green parliamentary Group in the history of Spanish democracy.
Copyright pictures: EQUO