Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Vox: The Return of the Spanish Far Right.

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Mitin de Vox en el Palacio de Vistalegre.rn rn rn

Spanish Immunity to the Populist Far-Right has Ended.

A couple of days ago The Times stated,

Far right set to win first Spanish seat for decades

A far-right party is on course to win a seat in the Spanish parliament for the first time since the fascist dictatorship of General Franco more than 40 years ago.

Vox, which was founded in 2014, says that its support has risen tenfold since it took a hard line against illegal immigration and the independence drive in Catalonia. Ten thousand people took part in its most recent rally in Madrid and a poll by Metroscopia puts the party on 5.1 per cent, enough to gain a seat.

The European Council on Foreign Relations announced this week that,

Bannon sets his eyes on Spain

Spain’s far-right party Vox draws the country into the continent’s growing anti-European league

Steve Bannon, the controversial former adviser to US President Donald Trump, has set his eyes on the site of his next battle against what he deems the “globalist ideology” and its principal embodiment, the European Union. Making use of his contacts with Nigel Farage in the United Kingdom, Marine Le Pen in France, and Matteo Salvini in Italy, Bannon is setting up The Movement, a Brussels-based group that aims to unify far-right anti-European forces.

Spain, a rare exception on the continent in its relative lack of far-right or anti-EU movements, has largely been spared Bannon’s and the alt-right’s attention so far. Not for much longer, it seems. On 10 April 2018, Bannon declared: “it is very important that in Spain there is a party based on the sovereignty and identity of the Spanish people, and that is ready to defend its borders”. His statement came after a meeting with Rafael Bardají, an erstwhile adviser to former Spanish president José María Aznar who now works as a strategist for far-right party Vox. After Bannon publicly announced his support for the party, Vox asked him for advice on what he is best at: political communication through alternative media and social networks – that is, electoral engineering based both on big data and micro-targeting.

Santiago Abascal, a former member of a conservative party based in the Basque Country, created Vox in 2013. Despite receiving only 46,638 votes (0.2 percent) in the 2016 general election, Vox is now polling at 5 percent (around 1 million votes, which would mean a significant increase in support). Following a very active social media campaign and a series of rallies across Spain, the party achieved a great success a few weeks ago when it gathered 9,000 people for a meeting at Madrid’s Vistalegre arena. If it remains as popular as the polls indicate, Vox will eventually enter the Spanish parliament and, most importantly, may make it to the European Parliament next May.

Vox’s main message is that there is a need to defend the Spanish nation, which it sees as threatened by Catalan and Basque nationalists, immigrants, and the EU. On 7 October 2018, the party released its “100 measures to keep Spain alive”. Its proposals and message fall within the orbit of Le Pen and Salvini, especially on migration and the EU.

Earlier this month there was a spate of articles in the Spanish and European Press on Voz and the above rally.

La nueva extrema derecha irrumpe en escena El País  4th of October.

The New Far Right has burst onto the scene.

Far-right political party Vox attracts 9,000 people to Madrid rally

El País  (English).

Created in 2014, the group drew its largest crowd ever at the weekend as polls suggest it could win a seat in Congress.

Vox speakers take turns listing the party’s 100 proposals for Spain: creating a Family Ministry, revoking the gender violence law and “any other legislation that discriminates against one of the sexes,” lowering income and corporate tax, developing a new water-management plan… But what really rouses the crowd is the proposal to deport “those illegal immigrants who come to Spain not to make it greater, but to receive handouts.”

To support this larger goal, Vox also wants tougher criminal punishment for illegal-immigration mafias “and those who cooperate with them, be they non-profits, businesses or individuals.”

Another major objective, says another speaker on stage, is “taking back our national sovereignty on the application of our courts’ decisions. Terrorists, rapists and serial killers would no longer benefit from the protection of European organizations, as they have to date.”

The secretary general of Vox, Ortega Smith, takes the microphone to insist that “Spaniards come first” and paraphrases Donald Trump: “Together we will make Spain great again.”

“Welcome to the resistance!” he cries. “We have come here to send out a message: we are not ready to let our dignity be trampled!”

The closing speaker is party president Santiago Abascal, who makes a rousing speech about Spaniards rising up against injustice.

“The living Spain has awoken, thank God. Spain does not rise up randomly. A nation reacts when it has historical inertia, when there is blood coursing through its veins, and when it is aggravated, as Spain is being aggravated now.”

L’émergence d’un parti d’extrême droite surprend l’Espagne.

Sandrine Morel. Le Monde.

La formation Vox, créée en 2013 par d’anciens militants du Parti populaire et jusqu’ici très confidentielle, a réuni 10 000 personnes à Madrid.

Background: Wikipedia (English, very incomplete) on Vox.

Vox (often stylized as VOX) is a political party in Spain founded on 17 December 2013, by former members of the People’s Party (PP). It is often considered to be far-rightalthough some media considered it as right-wing or right-wing populist

Explained: Who is VOX? Spain’s latest far-right party gaining popularity.

Fears of a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment and hardline nationalism have awakened in Spain after thousands participated in a Sunday rally at Madrid’s Vistalegre Palace by the far-right VOX party. But who is VOX and should Europe prepare for the rise of populism in Spain?

“Spaniards’ first”

Set up at the end of 2013, VOX aimed to capitalise on what it saw as a void in the Spanish political system, Dr Andrew Dowling of Cardiff University told Euronews.

VOX gained momentum last year as part of a broader rise of far-right populist parties in Europe, said Dowling. At the Sunday rally, Javier Ortega, the party’s general secretary, outlined the party’s first objective: “Spaniard’s first”. He listed a hundred proposals, which included revoking the gender violence law, deporting illegal immigrants and outlawing independence movements that could break up Spain.

However, the fact there was already two conservative parties Partido Popular (PP) and Ciudadanos meant that VOX will find it difficult to create a place for itself in the Spanish political spectrum, added Dowling.

The leader of Vox has declared that they will go it alone in elections, able to take advantage of the social discontent which Podemos, now in Coalition with the Spanish Socialists (PSOE), is unable to reflect.

“Abascal afirma que la vocación de VOX es ir en solitario a elecciones: Podemos aportar muchísimo más que en coalición”  Europa Press. 24 October.

One thing is certain, the issue of “El fascismo” has returned to the Spanish political scene.



Written by Andrew Coates

October 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Wasn’t it someone called Einstein who said: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

    Mrs Roberts

    October 27, 2018 at 3:10 pm

  2. It would be necessary to speak Spanish and to have lived for many years in the country as well as to know something of the twentieth century history of Spain before opening mouth. Both left and right in Spain have a history of advocating the extermination of their respective opponents and both have a history of accomplishments in this field. I would recommend a short course in reading of Hugh Thomas, Paul Preston, Anthony Beevor and Pio Moa.

    Dave Roberts

    October 27, 2018 at 9:00 pm

  3. Does Far Right mean religious socialism?


    October 28, 2018 at 4:18 am

  4. Far right depends on how far left the viewer is.

    Dave Roberts

    October 28, 2018 at 5:23 am

  5. Exactly, Dave! Jokes about Communism aren’t funny, unless everyone gets them.

    Mrs Roberts

    October 28, 2018 at 8:28 am

  6. So you have opened your mouth Mr Roberts….

    I read Spanish pretty fluently me.

    Andrew Coates

    October 28, 2018 at 12:47 pm

  7. Have you read all of the authors I mentioned? As far as I know Pio Moa’s ” Los Mitos de la Guerra Civil” is only available in Spanish. The underlying themes of all of these writers is that the left with its intransigence, church burnings, occupations of land and factories and calls for revolution played into the hands of the army and the right. Discuss!

    Dave Roberts

    October 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm

  8. National Socialists just beat international socialists in Brazil’s elections. The Libertarian party, which is not socialist, hence neither left nor right, is very carefully excluded from existing.


    October 29, 2018 at 2:43 am

  9. I have not read that, the last book I read in Spanish was (last year) Soldados de Salamina Javier Cercas (2012), and (in French, I have a copy, I was waiting for the cheap paperback) ) Pas pleurer by Lydie Salvayre (2014 “In Pas pleurer, Salvayre returns to themes found in La Compagnie des spectres such as memory, trauma, nationalism, and heritage. This novel about the Spanish civil war, however, ties these elements more directly to Salvayre’s own background: her parents fled Spain for France as refugees and the narrator bears a variation of her name: Lidia.” ast. In Pas pleurer, Salvayre returns to themes found in La Compagnie des spectres such as memory, trauma, nationalism, and heritage. This novel about the Spanish civil war, however, ties these elements more directly to Salvayre’s own background: her parents fled Spain for France as refugees and the narrator bears a variation of her name: Lidia.” https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2015/september/pas-pleurer-lydie-salvayre

    Andrew Coates

    October 29, 2018 at 2:25 pm

  10. Another book I read, not too long ago (last year).

    I may not have read Pio Moa but like anybody interested in the area am aware of the debate about the relative crimes of the two sides, which Paul Preston rightly says, is often a toxic discussion since the Falangists clearly were by far the worse.

    Paul Preston (2012). The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain..

    Andrew Coates

    October 29, 2018 at 6:04 pm

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