Spanish Leader Compares Political Shifts to Hitler’s Rise

Yolanda Barcina
Yolanda Barcina, acting president of the northern region of Navarre and leader of the Navarrese People’s Union, Photographer: Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

A Spanish conservative leader compared the emergence of alternative parties to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, after the country’s political establishment suffered losses in Sunday’s local elections.

Yolanda Barcina, acting president of the northern region of Navarre and leader of the Navarrese People’s Union, said the fragmented election result had created political uncertainty in Spain and allowed extremists into office as happened in Germany in the years leading up to World War II.

“It’s a moment when the parties, and the voters, really need to think about where we’re heading,” Barcina said in an interview on state broadcaster Television Espanola. “Society sometimes changes so much, like Venezuela, or Argentina, or Germany before Hitler.”

The ballots for regional and local governments saw a group backed by anti-austerity party Podemos claim Barcelona’s city hall and a similar platform may also win Madrid if it can persuade other groups to support them.

Barcina’s party, known as UPN, faces a struggle to stay in power in Navarre despite winning the most seats. Without an overall majority, UPN could be forced out by a potential coalition including both Podemos and Bildu, a Basque separatist group.

While Navarre isn’t officially part of the Basque region, it’s considered part of the Basque homelands by nationalists and its people speak a language similar to Basque.

Barcina urged Podemos’s leader, Pablo Iglesias, to “think” before allying with parties that aim to break up Spain or free ETA prisoners.

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