Podemos: The last anti-austerity party in Europe?

Spain's Podemos is continuing to back its fellow radical anti-austerity party, Greece's ruling Syriza, despite leader Alexis Tsipras being forced into accepting further budget cuts in return for another international bailout.

Nacho Alvarez, secretary of the economy for Spain's Podemos party told CNBC that the party still supported its Greek ally.

"Of course we continue to support Syriza. Syriza did a great effort to make everyone in Europe understand the need for change and the need to stop austerity and we continue to support Syriza."

"What we have learned, the situation in Spain and Greece is very different. Greece did not have any fiscal room for maneuver but the situation in Spain for a post-austerity situation is very different. We have more room for fiscal stimulus and for different negotiations with European institutions so we cannot compare both situations."


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While both countries share being bailed out in common -- Greece's total international loans could hit 340 billion euros ($360 billion) while Spain used 41 billion of euro zone funds to rescue its banks -- their economic fortunes are very different. Spain's economy has returned to robust growth (forecast at 3 percent in 2016) whereas Greece's crisis has rumbled on.

The situation in Athens reached crisis point this summer when capital controls were imposed on lenders when it looked likely that Greece could go bankrupt and leave the euro zone. At the eleventh hour, Syriza capitulated to lenders, requesting a third bailout in return for even more stringent austerity measures. The party was accused by its supporters of reneging on its promise to oppose austerity at all costs.

What Spain and Greece have in common is persistently high unemployment. The jobless rate in Europe is highest in Greece, at 24.6 percent, followed by Spain at 21.6 percent and for young people the figures deteriorate further- almost one in every two young people in Greece and Spain is without work.

Voters in Spain made comparisons between Greece and Podemos, which had vociferously supported Syriza during its bullish negotiations with lenders, seeing its support base erode over the summer.

Ahead of a general election in Spain on December 20, the party is fourth in the most recent polls, after the ruling center-right People's Party, centrist Citizens party (Cuidanos) and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) which are all very close in the polls, according to Reuters.

Alvarez said the polls had changed a lot in recent weeks and said the party would stick to its anti-austerity message. "We need to underpin economic growth. We have only recovered one third of the employment that was lost during the crisis and our GDP is 5 percent lower than in 2007 so we need to reinforce economic growth."

Other issues dominating the Spanish election debate include a potential Catalonian secession and questions over corruption in Spanish politics.

Toni Roldan, the economic advisor for the centrist Ciudadanos party, told CNBC that corruption was a blight on Spain's political establishment.

"I think that over the recent years they have abused their power significantly," Roldan told CNBC Wednesday referring to various allegations of corruption surrounding some members of the ruling party.

"We need to do more on transparency, on opening the parties, on depoliticizing the many institutions such as the justice system and somehow getting back the power and neutrality for them to do their job."

With the election race so tight, it looks like no one party will win enough votes to gain a majority and govern alone. Roldan said his party wanted "renewal and regeneration" and did not think this was possible with the People's Party, or with its leader Rajoy.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt. Follow us on Twitter @CNBCi