Spain's Greens try to sink roots
Madrid — The political impact of the Greens in Germany has finally moved Spain's ''Verdes'' to take the plunge and form their own party. This week some 600 disparate associations, ranging from ecologists and pacifists to feminists and naturalists, formed the Partido Verde Espanol.
For 12 years, the Verdes have been a very loose movement. Now, says Luis Hidalgo, a coordinator of the new party, ''The time has come to propose a global alternative to the traditional parties which have not brought about the promised changes. Without a party framework, our efforts on a local basis will prove more and more meaningless.''
The Verdes are planning a party congress in December to formulate an official platform. Their mix of environmental and sociopolitical aims may include a national campaign against bullfighting.
But Luis Hidalgo says the Verdes are not interested ''in simply protecting some tree or animal.'' The general aim ''in a traditionally authoritarian society is individual liberation and changing relations between people and also the environment.''
High on the list is an all-out anti-NATO campaign this September, stemming largely from the pacifist component of the party. The Verdes feel deceived by the Socialist government's ambiguous position and delaying tactics about a promised referendum on NATO membership.
Nevertheless, Hidalgo insists the Verdes are for neutrality and ''refuse to play the game of either bloc.'' They are wary of being assimilated into other parties. The Spanish Communist Party has played a major role in anti-NATO demonstrations.
While welcoming the Verdes to the political scene, the Spanish press has warned against possible manipulation by other interests.
Financially, things don't look rosy for the Greens. ''We don't have a dime, only debts,'' Hidalgo says wryly. Two fund-raising concerts managed to bring more debt. The party is hoping that dues, donations, and such campaigns as selling recycled paper will rake in some funds.
Another problem is getting such diverse groups to agree on concerted action. Luis Hidalgo says life for the new party ''will not be a bed of roses.''