NOT IMPRESSED: Pablo Iglesias

PABLO Iglesias has proposed a referendum on bullfighting, amid growing pressure from animal rights activists.

The Podemos leader spoke to Spanish TV channel Telecinco, saying that ‘it would be good to ask people’ and that Spain would not be able to ban the sport ‘by decree.’

The left-wing leader said he agreed with ‘asking citizens in their villages or in certain territories if the majority want bullfighting or not.’

Iglesias’s plans to address the controversial Spanish pastime, which dates back to ancient times, will be welcomed by many in Spain.

In May this year 40,000 protesters took to the streets in Madrid calling for a national bullfighting ban, as well as to remove events involving bulls from the from the national cultural heritage register.

Iglesias said he wanted to ‘democratise’ discussions about the future of bullfighting, but did not comment on other events using bulls, such as those in Pamplona’s San Fermín festival.

Each year in Spain 20,000 bulls are killed and bullfighting was declared a ‘national cultural heritage’ in 2013, meaning it can be supported with public money.

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