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'Podemos leader failed me for wearing pearls'

Alex Dunham · 18 Feb 2015, 10:08

Published: 18 Feb 2015 10:08 GMT+01:00

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Mercedes Perez Gonzalez, mayor of the Madrid municipality of Redueña, told right-leaning daily ABC that Iglesias failed her three times when she took a geopolitics module he was giving at Complutense University, in Spain’s capital.

“I used to wear my pearls. I liked them but they weren’t flamboyant, just simple. I used to wear, and still do, Zara clothing, like so many normal people,” Perez Gonzalez told ABC.

Well, Mr Iglesias didn’t appreciate it one bit. I was one of the ones who didn’t fit his profile. He failed me three times.”

Perez Gonzalez, currently the youngest mayor in the Madrid region at just 30, claims she started passing her studies when she changed lecturer and that Iglesias was only interested in “indoctrinating” his pupils about American imperialism and communism.

“He was very much in favour of ETA's cause (Basque separatist group who killed hundreds of Spaniards),” the Redueña mayor asserted.

But her words have been met by mockery rather than shock by many Spaniards who’ve taken to Twitter and Facebook to ridicule her claims.

"Pablo Iglesias's cruelty knows no limits"

Meme showing a protest under the banner “Je suis Perlitas (little pearls) in reference to France’s post terror attacks Je suis Charlie campaign.

-         “I’m sorry, I have to fail you”

-         Is it because of my pearls?

-         Don’t be silly, it’s because you can’t read

-         You never liked my pearls

Story continues below…

Since Iglesias’s quick rise to the top of Spain’s political sphere with his left-wing and anti-EU austerity rhetoric, some critics claim the country’s right-wing and some sectors of the media have launched a witch-hunt to discredit him and his party.

He has been accused of being a sympathizer of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and receiving funds from the divisive Bolivarian government.

Iglesias is currently in New York for a series of political and academic meetings, with a view to developing his party's anti-austerity policies.

According to online daily 20 minutos, he took part in talks on Wall Street on Tuesday with the aim of transmitting “a message of tranquility” to investors with regard to his policies, while arguing that “some things haven’t been done properly” and that’s “it’s unacceptable that citizens are having to pay for the mistakes made by the banks”.

Iglesias, who has seen his party swoop up the polls since it was started a year ago, and beat the opposition socialist party to second position behind the ruling Popular Party, has been boosted by the success of Syriza in Greece´s general election last month.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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