Spanish Communist Party supporters held a massive general election rally in Barcelona on Wednesday (1 June) in the heart of the fiery Catalan region.
Spanish Communist Party supporters held a massive general election rally in Barcelona on Wednesday (1 June) in the heart of the fiery Catalan region. Organisers claim about a quarter of a million people came from all over the Spain to attend.
SYNOPSIS: The party is extremely well established in the Catalan capital, where the recently-legalised Communists have been working relatively closely with other political forces for some time.
Their leader, Santiago Carrillo, returned to Spain last year after more than 37 years in exile. The leadership is seeking a moderate so-called Euro-Communist image, and the idea is being better accepted in Barcelona than in other parts of the country, because of the partial liaison with other political elements.
In his speech on Wednesday, Senor Carrillo accused former Ministers of the late General Franco of selling parts of Spain to the United States for military bases. It was the first time in the campaign for the general elections on June the 15th that he has criticised the U.S. military presence. Previously, he had said the United States could maintain bases in Spain as long as the Soviet Union had troops in east Europe.
The U.S. have been using four Spanish bases in exchange for military aid since 1953. Senor Carrillo also attacked the right-wing Popular Alliance, led by former Franco ministers, for selling Spain to multi-national companies for what he called "a plate of beans".
But, for all the zest of the Communist militants, the latest public opinion polls indicate the party is not going to get a large share of the votes. They give the Communists just under seven percent, with Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez' Democratic Centre Union leading comfortably.