The kiss that showed real political passion
They are political bedfellows on the left wing of Spanish politics, and on Tuesday two men gave a very visible display of their ideological relationship with a snog that lit up social media.
In the middle of fraught coalition talks Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing movement Podemos, congratulated a fellow member of parliament, Xavier Domenech, with a kiss on the lips.
Iglesias and Domenech, who leads a left-wing group of Catalan nationalist parties, have reportedly greeted each in a similar fashion before. But this time it was captured by TV cameras as it took place in the middle of the Spanish parliamentary chamber during the middle of an investiture debate. So images of the lip-locked pair were soon making the rounds online.
"Pablo Iglesias" and several related phrases and hashtags soon hit Twitter's worldwide trending charts, and while not all references were to the lip lock - there are, after all, serious politics to discuss - the "beso" was a hot topic of conversation.
"How beautiful!" said one Podemos fan. "The kiss shows how things have changed," commented another. But not everyone was impressed. "I've seen it all in Congress," commented one Twitter user. "I am going to study. This is not serious."
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The anti-austerity Podemos thrust onto the political scene in 2014, one of a number of populist parties - some on the right, some on the left - that have caught on in a number of European countries.
In last December's elections, the party scored a fifth of the vote and 69 seats, giving it a crucial role in coalition talks. The most likely grouping would see the second-largest Socialist party group together with Podemos and the centrist Ciudadanos. But with Iglesias opposed to such a coalition, Spain could be headed towards fresh elections.
Some online compared the Iglesias-Domenech smooch to other famous political kisses, such as this fraternal embrace between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and East German leader Erich Honecker.
The "socialist fraternal kiss" - a series of pecks on the cheek, or a lip lock to express especially close friendship was a common practice among communist leaders during the Cold War, but seems to have since fallen out of favour.
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