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The Sobremesa Podcast
A podcast about contemporary Spain
Category: Society & Culture
Location: Madrid
New episodes every week. The Sobremesa Podcast is about modern-day Spanish society, politics and history, without the stereotypes. Every week we have an update about the ongoing current affairs in Spain. We also have interviews from the world of pol ...more
New episodes every week. The Sobremesa Podcast is about modern-day Spanish society, politics and history, without the stereotypes. Every week we have an update about the ongoing current affairs in Spain. We also have interviews from the world of politics, history, academia and art. This podcast is for anyone interested in the modern and plural Spain of today.
by Alan McGuire
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March 01, 2021 01:57 AM PST

The Spanish government recently announced 11 billion euros for small, medium sized companies in the hard-hit tourism sector. Will it be enough? And what is the longer term plan for the Spanish economy?

In the longer term, Spain has seen the need to reform its economy as the current model, heavily reliant on tourism, is unreliable. Many in the country also want self employment red tape cut and costs reduced.

Joe Haslam joins me to explain the long term cultural and systematic problems Spain faces in reforming itself into a country of start ups.

We also discuss 'Spain Entrepreneurial Nation' the new 10 year plan to set out by the government to help start ups in Spain grow.

Joe Haslam is the Executive Director of the Owners Scaleup Program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. This is a program specially designed for small and medium sized companies that want to scale. He is also the presenter of the High Impact Online Program "Scaleup! How to Successfully Manage Growth" and the Academic Director of the Global Scaleup Program, a joint course offered by IE with the American University of Beirut. In the International MBA, he teaches an award winning elective called "Scaling Up Your Startup".

Article discussed: Spain’s ten-year plan to put startups in the economic driving seat


February 25, 2021 02:40 AM PST

Nationalism has made a comeback in the 21st century and Spain is not exempt.

Often people mistake Spain for a large country, when in fact it is a large block of several regional identities. Famously, the Catalan independence movement has highlighted this fact and also caused a rise in the national Spanish identity.

However this is not a new phenomenon. Spain's regional identities have challenged Spanish nationalists desired unity since at least the 19th century

Whilst the regional identities often get along well together, this has not always been the case. During Franco's era, regional identities were suppressed, and following his death the rise of ETA in the Basque country and beyond came to overshadow any talk of the Basque identity.

Maria Reyes Baztán, a researcher from Warwick University, joins me to explain the history of Basque nationalism and the origins of the anti-colonial rhetoric they still use to this day.

February 21, 2021 08:01 AM PST

Andrew Dowling joins me again to discuss the Catalan election results.

We also discuss and analyse the protests/riots that have followed the arrest of Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel.

February 09, 2021 04:24 AM PST

On Sunday the 14th February, Catalonia will go to the polls, this time to elect a regional government.

This is the second regional election since the October 2017 independence referendum. The first in December 2017 was called by then Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in that election the biggest party Cuidudanos won the most seats but could not form an administration. A regional government was formed by independence forces JuntsxCats/ERC/CUP. Quimm Torra was elected as regional president.

In the April 2019 general election, Torra went against Spanish election rules. After many long judicial battles, Torra was dismissed as regional premier and forced to call regional elections. These are those elections.

Since the 2017 elections much has changed in Catalan politics and national politics. Both are intertwined and can effect each other.

Here is my interview with Andrew Dowling. A lecturer at Cardiff University and author of the book The Rise of Catalan Independence
Spain’s Territorial Crisis. Here he explains recent developments in Catalan politics and the build up to these elections.

February 05, 2021 09:56 AM PST

Vicente Rubio-Pueyo is a Spanish academic based in New York.

In the second part of my interview with him we discuss Spanish nationalism and the rise of far right party Vox.

January 31, 2021 11:32 AM PST

Vicente Rubio-Pueyo is a Spanish academic based in New York and member of Minim, a municipalist observatory.

He sat down with me to discuss modern day Spanish municipalism and the effect it has had on politics and the cities it governed.

January 21, 2021 03:15 AM PST

In this episode of the Sobremesa podcast I interview Caroline Gray. Here we talk about territorial politics of both the left and right in Spain since the financial crisis.

Caroline Gray is Lecturer in Politics and Spanish. She specialises in the politics of Spain and wider Europe, focusing on territorial politics and party systems. She is the author of Territorial Politics and the Party System in Spain: Continuity and Change since the Financial Crisis (Routledge, 2020).

January 13, 2021 01:39 PM PST

10 years ago in 2011, Spain went through a crisis of representation. Until then, Spain had been praised as exceptional for its peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy in the late 1970’s. Yet with the arrival of economic problems, that soon changed. On an international scale, the world was still struggling in the aftermath of the 2007-8 financial crisis. The Great Recession had begun. In Europe, the Eurozone debt crisis was underway. By 2011, Greece and Ireland had already had their first bailouts and at the beginning of the year Spain’s neighbour Portugal would also request help from the EU as it could not meet the targets it was set. Spain would be next. Struggling with the growing economic crisis, the PSOE government, led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, would make unpopular reforms to both the labour laws and pension system in late 2010.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Spain started to mobilise against what a good deal of people felt was an unrepresentative democracy, heavily dominated by the Popular Party and the PSOE. Small groups protesting specific issues from the young who felt they had not future to the elderly fighting pension reforms, these movements would soon start organising together for a more representative and participatory democracy. Come May 15th 2011, a huge protest through the centre of Madrid made up of these groups, would kick start the biggest political changes in the country since the transition. The 15-M movement was born.

In this episode of The Sobremesa Podcast, I talk with Cristina Flesher Fominaya, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Social Movement Studies, co-founder of the open access social movements journal Interface, and author of the book Democracy Reloaded: Inside Spain’s Political Laboratory from 15-M to Podemos. Here we talk about how the 15-M Movement came about, what they were doing in the Sol camp, and how it would change the political landscape that we have come to know today.

December 31, 2020 02:14 AM PST

In this one-off special episode, I discuss brexit with two Brits that live in Spain. One voted leave and the other voted remain. Here is why.

Richard Thompson lives in Sant Joan in Mallorca. He is a business owner and local town councillor with Assemblea per Sant Joan. We talk about voting remain and the stereotypes of Brits in Spain.

Timothy Appleton has lived in Madrid for 15 years. He is a lecturer in the Camilo José Cela University, editor of the magazine #lacanemancipa and author of the book “Escupir en la iglesia: un sí de izquierdas al Brexit”, (“Spitting in church: a left-wing yes to Brexit”) Here we talk about his book and why he would still vote leave.

Happy New Year!!

December 23, 2020 05:09 AM PST

Here I got to interview author and former Financial Times Spain correspondent
Tobias Buck.
We talk about corruption, austerity, Rajoy, Podemos and Catalonia.

At the end of the episode I also talk about my plans for the podcast in 2021.

Merry Christmas from all at The Sobremesa Podcast!

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