Barcelona mayor’s Tweets backpedal on criticism of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias in just-released book

Ada Colau and Pablo Iglesias in Dec. 2015 campaign appearance. Photo: Gmmr3 via Wikimedia Commons
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• Ada Colau critical of Iglesias’ ‘arrogance’ in Catalan journalist’s new book •

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau quickly used her Twitter account for damage control Monday after a newly released book quoted her as sharply critical of the “arrogance” of anti-austerity party Podemos’ leader Pablo Iglesias for claiming leadership of Spain’s insurgent leftist political activism of the past two years, for which she said she and many other individuals and organizations had long worked to lay the groundwork.

Colau, the former anti-eviction activist who became mayor of Barcelona last year with the support of Podemos and other leftist parties and movements, is quoted as critical of Iglesias’ “arrogance in expressing himself … both in the personal and the political” in the book Ada, la rebelión democrática (“Ada: The Democratic Rebellion”). The release of the book, said to be an authorized account of her rise to power in Barcelona, coincides with ongoing turmoil within the anti-austerity party that is fueled in part by internal dissent over Iglesias’ leadership style.

Publication of Colau’s remarks by leading Spanish dailies Monday prompted her to take to Twitter, saying Podemos is the “best ally for change” for her own Barcelona En Comú movement and pointedly referring to the two Podemos leaders reportedly embroiled in the party’s current internal strife, Iglesias and Podemos’ Congressional spokesman Íñigo Errejón, as “valiant companions” on the political left.

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