The idea was born half a year ago in a Starbucks in downtown Madrid, but it did not crystallize until this summer, when 23-J left the center wounded and forced the two major parties to look between their extremes to govern. About forty intellectuals and former politicians, most of them Cs y UPyDplan the creation of a new party, left-wing, reformist and social democratic, whose central axis is equality between Spaniards, dialogue and compliance with the Constitution, even recognizing that it is “modifiable.”
The Third Spain, which is the name given to the association for now, is establishing its structure and, according to several of its members, is seriously considering taking the step as a political party in view of the European elections in the middle of next year. “We seek to create a clean left, comparable to the American, the German, the Nordic,” explains the writer and journalist. Gabriela Busteloformer member of Cs and one of the main ideologues of this “party project”, together with the lawyer Elvira Marcos -also former of Cs-, the writer Iñaki Left and the economist and historian Gabriel Tortella. The manifesto has also been signed by Andrés Trapiello, Francisco Igea, Fernando Savater o Francisco Sosa Wagneramong others.
Tortella, in conversation with this newspaper, defines La Tercera España as “a sliver of optimism” in the midst of an “alarm situation.” The economist, who was part of the university socialist group during the dictatorship, considers that the “role” of this new formation is exactly the same as “that of the PSOE of 40 years ago”: to assemble all sensitivities into an idea of European Spain and away from populism. Would they fit, then, Nicolas Redondo o Alfonso Guerra? “They fit,” says Tortella, because “they prove to be brave.”
The founding manifesto of La Tercera España, in fact, is truly harsh on Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE: “It has thrown its secular ideology overboard, betting on the paths of populism, personalism, opportunism and demagoguery.” Meanwhile, he accuses Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s PP of being adrift and disoriented, of being “indecisive” and of linking his future to Vox.
In a Spain in which the two large blocks, precisely, edge their positions towards the corners of the board, La Tercera España was born with the objective, in addition to recomposing the space of the center-left and recovering the millions of voters who were orphaned without the option of Citizens at the polls. But they warn: “We are not related to Ciudadanos despite sharing political principles.” This party, they emphasize, is neither a continuation nor an alternative to the liberal project that the oranges defended in recent times.