19 Mar, 2024 @ 16:39
1 min read

‘I’m a little nervous’: Ex-darling of the left in Spain Pablo Iglesias prepares to open a bar in Madrid after leaving the world of politics

Pablo Iglesias
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PABLO Iglesias, the former leader of the Spanish leftist Podemos party, has admitted he is “a little nervous” ahead of the opening of his new bar in Madrid.

Iglesias, 45, is the new owner of Taberna Garibaldi, a traditional bar located in the Lavapies neighbourhood of Spain’s capital.

The life of Spain’s former vice-president has taken a dramatic turn since he abruptly retired from politics in 2021.

Iglesias founded left-wing Podemos in 2014 to represent Spaniards outraged by austerity measures imposed following the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

That same year, the politician famed for his trademark ponytail became a member of the European parliament.

Two years later, Iglesias created Unidas Podemos, a broad alliance of minor left-wing parties that threatened to break the political monopoly of the socialist PSOE and conservative Partido Popular (PP).

In 2019, a failure to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez led to a repeat election, before a breakthrough saw Iglesias’ party join Spain’s first coalition government.

Iglesias left politics in 2021 following a disappointing round of results in regional elections, and will now spend most of his time running the leftist-themed bar in bohemian Lavapies.

Customers can order a range of drinks including a Fidel Mojito, inspired by the Cuban revolutionary leader, the Mandela Zulu, a Gramsci Negroni and an Evita Martini.

In a video posted on X, Iglesias admitted that “openings are always difficult”, but that he is “happy” and “excited” to begin his new life.

However, the former university lecturer’s new adventure has already encountered an unlikely obstacle – the wrath of anarchists.

On Monday night, Iglesias’ bar was vandalised with graffiti by an unknown group demanding the removal from the menu of a cocktail inspired by Buenaventura Durruti, a hero of the Spanish anarchist movement who was involved with the powerful CNT and FAI trade unions and the Spanish Revolution of 1936.


Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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