A red heart is pasted on a poster of Podemos (We Can) party leader Pablo Iglesias a day after the most fragmented national election result in Spain's history in Madrid, Spain, December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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In the space of just two years, pony-tailed former university lecturer Pablo Iglesias has shaken up politics in Spain, where millions voted his far-left protest party Podemos into third place in historic Sunday polls.Iglesias created Podemos in January 2014 along with colleagues from Madrid's Complutense University where he taught.Four months later, it won 1.2 million votes and five seats in elections for the European parliament – with young candidates mostly new to politics and a campaign budget of just 150,000 euros ($163,000).As a former politics lecturer at the Complutense University, Iglesias is well-drilled in articulating his message.Born in the Madrid working class neighborhood of Vallecas where he still lives in a modest flat, his parents gave him the name of PSOE founder Pablo Iglesias Posse – in front of whose grave they met.Impregnated with politics from an early age – his father was jailed under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco – Iglesias was active in the communist youth and anti-globalization movement before the Indignants protest wave erupted in Spain in 2011 .
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