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'Perro Sanxe' and TikTok memes: Spanish PM's party seeks youth support in EU elections campaign

Pedro Sanchez during election campaign.
Pedro Sanchez during election campaign. Copyright Palomeque
Copyright Palomeque
By Jaime VelazquezEuronews
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The Spanish socialist party PSOE has been keen on gaining youth vote in the launch of their European elections bid.

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The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) started its European election campaign at the Rambleta Theatre in Valencia on Thursday.

Thousands of attendees came to the venue to listen to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, former President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and candidate Teresa Ribera.

Many young people, like Ivan, Javier, Carlos, Gabriel, and Sara, attended from the socialist youth of Valencia. They are some of the 20-somethings who have found inspiration in Sánchez's policies. 

For Ivan Belmonte, the socialist party is about "equality, feminism, rights of trans people, LGTB... And a way to make a broad front against the extreme right," he told Euronews at the entrance to the event in the Valencian capital.

The success of a viral meme called "Perro Sanxe" — a wordplay on the derogatory name used by his opponents turned online meme commonly used by Sánchez and his supporters — helped the party in their general election campaign on 23 July. 

Now, the PSOE is trying to recreate this success in its latest electoral campaign by embracing online trends and viral hits. This time, a 1979 Italian hit song, Pedro, is featured prominently in the campaign. 

The song was embraced by PSOE's young supporters while the Spanish PM mulled over his political future amid accusations of corruption launched against his wife, Begoña Gómez, by a far-right outlet.

"It's a song by Raffaella Carrá that went viral and just coincided with Pedro's five days of reflection, and people were encouraged to sing it to him and make it stay," explained a young man while putting on a t-shirt with a TikTok raccoon meme surrounded by the stars of the European flag.

With this strategy, the socialists hope to repeat the success of the last general election, where they managed to attract more than 40% of the young vote, according to the demographic data company Cluster17.

"The PSOE is bringing together a lot of young people because in the end the message is diverse, and it is a little at the end the image of the Europe we want. A diverse Europe, a tolerant Europe", explained Javier Cárceles, sitting with other members of the Socialist Youth Group. 

The polls put Sánchez in a good position, suggesting that his party could win Spain's European elections.  

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