Spain’s far-right Vox enters regional government | The extreme right
The far-right Vox party is set to be part of a Spanish regional government for the first time after striking a deal to lead the northwestern autonomous community of Castilla y León with bitter rivals from the conservative People’s Party (PP).
The deal, which comes nearly a month after the PP’s decision to call regional elections failed to produce the outright majority it had hoped for, follows weeks of wrangling amid a crisis leadership of the PP.
Although the PP finished first in the February vote, its victory was Pyrrhic and proved another misstep for its leader, Pablo Casado, who will step down next month.
Emboldened by finishing third behind the Socialists – and winning 16 new seats in the 81-seat regional parliament – Vox had been pushing for a place in government.
On Thursday, Alfonso Fernández-Mañueco, the incumbent president of the Castilla y León PP, finally acceded to his demands, saying his party had reached an agreement with Vox that “would allow for a solid and stable government”.
According to reports, Vox will be entrusted with the regional vice-presidency, three regional ministries and the presidency of the parliament of Castilla y León.
Although the party has in the past supported the formation of PP-led administrations in Madrid, Andalusia and Murcia, this is the first time it has won a place in a regional government.
The deal was swiftly criticized by Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), which governs Spain in coalition with far-left Unidas Podemos alliance.
PSOE Deputy Secretary General Adriana Lastra said it was a “pact of shame” that had brought the far right back to power for the first time since the end of Franco’s dictatorship. Lastra also blamed Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the president of the Galicia PP, who is expected to succeed Casado.
“The far right is back in government 40 years later, thanks to Feijóo,” she said. tweeted. “Today is a bad day for Castilla y León and for Spanish democracy.”
His comments came hours after Feijóo said Spain needed “a new policy that listens and offers moderation and calm”.
Vox – who called for a ‘reconquest’ of Spain, the construction of an ‘impassable wall’ around the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the repeal of laws on gender-based violence – s’ regularly protests against what he considers to be the hegemony of political correctness.
Vox managed to become the third largest party in Spain’s national parliament by exploiting culture wars, discontent with the country’s two main political parties and the fallout from the 2017 Catalan independence crisis.
Polls suggest he is now nipping at the heels of the PP, which under Casado has had an adversarial relationship with its far-right rival. In October 2020 – less than two years before his party accepted the Castilla y León coalition – Casado took on Vox, accusing it of practicing politics based on “fear, anger, resentment and revenge”.