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Spain: Podemos leaders face backlash over luxury house purchase

Pablo Iglesias and his partner, Podemos spokeswoman Irene Montero
Pablo Iglesias and his partner, Podemos spokeswoman Irene Montero
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They rose to prominence on the back of anti-austerity protests, and went on to found the left-wing populist party Podemos, now one of Spain’s most powerful political forces.

But now Pablo Iglesias and his partner, Podemos spokeswoman Irene Montero, are facing a crisis of confidence among their own supporters after it emerged they have bought a luxury 600,000 euro house outside Madrid, complete with swimming pool and guest accommodation.

Critics took to Twitter to denounce the couple as hypocrites.

It didn’t help when old tweets resurfaced of Iglesias criticising a former economy minister for buying a 600,000 euro home and condemning politicians who ''go to live in houses and isolate themselves''.

A tweet from Pablo Iglesias in 2012 criticising a minister's house purchase

The pair will now face a confidence vote among the party’s half-million members on whether they should remain in their roles.

Podemos, which took around a fifth of the vote in 2016's two elections, has become one of Spain's four main political parties, matching and sometimes overtaking the traditional left-wing party, the Socialists (PSOE), according to polls.

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