Spanish celebrities call for the left to vote

by Lorraine Williamson
Citizens to the ballot boxes

MADRID – The upcoming elections in Spain are “particularly decisive” against the “new conservative onslaught” with “ultra-right deviations” and could generate a trend of “new decline in social and civil rights”. 

Spanish celebrities such as singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, actor and filmmaker Javier Bardem, director Pedro Almodóvar and presentator Andreu Buenafuente, among many others, say that. Dozens of Spanish intellectuals have signed a manifesto calling for a progressive vote during parliamentary elections on July 23. 

‘Citizens to the ballot boxes!’ 

Entitled ‘Citizens to the ballot boxes!’, the actresses Anabel Alonso, Ana Belén, María Barranco, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Carmen Machi, Rossy de Palma, Mercedes Sampietro, María Botto and Leonor Watling, in addition to the actors Carlos Bardem, Pedro Casablanc, Mario Gas, Pepe Viyuela, Héctor Alterio, José Sacristán, Alberto San Juan and Juan Echanove signatories. 

Also, writers Javier Cercas, Elvira Sastre, Isaac Rosa, Benjamin Prado, Elvira Lindo, Luis Landero and Luis García Montero, who is also director of the Cervantes Institute, also sign the manifesto. 

The union leaders of CCOO and UGT, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, former secretary general of the PSOE Joaquín Almunia, former mayor of Madrid Manuela Carmena and former socialist leader Diego López Garrido also support the text. Furthermore, television presenters José Miguel Monzón (‘El Gran Wyoming’), Alonso Caparros and Inés Hernand join them. 

On Wednesday, the contents of the document were presented at a meeting in Madrid with the lawyer and former Secretary General of the PCE Nicolás Sartorius, together with the leaders of CCOO and UGT. 

Key election against a “Conservative attack” 

The manifesto emphasises that these elections are “particularly decisive” against the “new conservative onslaught” with “ultra-right deviations” and could generate a trend of “new social and civil rights setbacks”. 

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It goes on to say that in the crises of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, policies have been rolled out with the aim of protecting citizens, something that was possible because there were progressive governments in countries such as Spain. 

“It would be unfair and short-sighted not to recognise that in the parliamentary term now ending, society and the coalition government of Spain faced completely unprecedented situations (…) with a very favourable outcome in social progress, growth and employment stability with the largest increase ever experienced by the minimum wage and pensions,” the manifesto emphasises. 

Therefore, and in light of these “very special and decisive moments in the history of Spain and Europe”, they call on citizens to go to the polls en masse, with the “firm conviction that this is not the time for decline and regression”. 

Time for “higher levels of well-being, freedom, equality and fraternal solidarity” 

In fact, they declare that it is time to “move forward to higher levels of well-being, liberty, equality and fraternal solidarity, represented by the parties that have supported these progressive policies,” they conclude. 

Also read: Big election debate on Spanish national TV

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