In post-Franco first for Spain, far-right party be­comes king­maker in An­dalu­sia

Cyprus Today - - WORLD -

A FAR-right party on Wed­nes­day took a role in the for­ma­tion of a re­gional gov­ern­ment in Spain for the first time since the Franco dic­ta­tor­ship ended in 1975.

The anti-im­mi­grant Vox agreed to sup­port a cen­tre-right coali­tion in An­dalu­sia. It be­came king­maker in Spain’s most pop­u­lous re­gion and a tra­di­tional So­cial­ist Party strong­hold, af­ter 12 of its can­di­dates un­ex­pect­edly won seats in an elec­tion in De­cem­ber.

While Vox will not be part of the An­dalu­sia gov­ern­ment, bit­ter mem­o­ries of mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship had un­til now pre­vented far-right par­ties from mak­ing any in­roads into the Span­ish po­lit­i­cal main­stream.

Fran­cisco Franco died in 1975 and democ­racy was reestab­lished three years later.

In re­turn for its sup­port, Vox made a 37-point agree­ment with the con­ser­va­tive Peo­ple’s Party (PP) that in­cludes com­mit­ments to tackle il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, re­duce re­gional taxes and com­bat Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ism.

“To­day il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and cor­rup­tion lose and the An­dalu­sians, the de­fence of the fam­ily and a more plu­ral­is­tic pol­i­tics win,” Vox deputy leader Javier Ortega told re­porters.

The PP struck a sep­a­rate ac­cord with the cen­tre-right Ci­u­dadanos to form the coali­tion gov­ern­ment, end­ing an un­bro­ken 36-year run of So­cial­ist ad­min­is­tra­tions in the south­ern re­gion.

“The An­dalu­sians have cho­sen a gov­ern­ment of change to put an end to 40 years of aw­ful so­cial­ist poli­cies, and [PP coali­tion leader Juanma Moreno] is not go­ing to let them down,” PP leader Pablo Casado wrote on Twit­ter.

Af­ter De­cem­ber’s elec­tion, the mi­nor­ity So­cial­ist gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez said if the main op­po­si­tion par­ties re­lied on the sup­port of Vox to take of­fice, they risked turn­ing the re­gion into a “cra­dle of the far right”.

A spokes­woman said on Wed­nes­day the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­gret­ted “the rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion seen on the part of the PP and Ci­u­dadanos.”

“This gov­ern­ment, in a mo­ment in which some want to go back to the Spain of the black and white era, reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to Euro­pean val­ues,” she said

Wed­nes­day’s agree­ment did not in­clude a pro­posal by Vox to re­peal do­mes­tic vi­o­lence leg­is­la­tion, a di­vi­sive de­mand that had caused dis­com­fort among some PP lead­ers and led women’s groups to call a protest next week.

Spain is ready­ing for a busy elec­toral year, with polls show­ing that the far right could also win seats in other parts of the coun­try.

Spain’s far-right Vox party re­gional can­di­date Fran­cisco Ser­rano

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.