World

New leftist party claims it is Spain's No. 2 political force, leader blasts Europe socialists

  • Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party drinks a coffee during a news conference with foreign correspondents in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become  one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party drinks a coffee during a news conference with foreign correspondents in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party speaks with foreign correspondents in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party speaks with foreign correspondents in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party speaks with foreign correspondents during a news conference in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become  one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain's new and growing far left 'Podemos' (We Can) party speaks with foreign correspondents during a news conference in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. The recently-formed Spanish party 'Podemos' has risen to become one of the most popular choices among Spanish voters for the general elections to be held later in 2015. (AP Photo/Paul White)  (The Associated Press)

The leader of Spain's new far-left Podemos party says it's now the country's No. 2 political force behind the governing center-right Popular Party.

Pablo Iglesias also says his party owes much of its rise to what it calls the capitulation by Europe's Social Democrats to austerity policies that have angered many working class voters.

The pony-tailed university professor says he agrees with efforts by Greece's new far-left government to ease harsh economic conditions imposed in return for European bailouts.

Podemos, which was launched last year, means "We Can" in Spanish. Recent polls have shown it ahead of Spain's Socialist Party as the country faces a general election late this year.

Iglesias did not outline any specific economic proposals his party would enact at a press conference Friday.