Spain’s Political Landscape: Far-Right Government and Its Impact

On July 23, the legislative elections will take place in Spain. The nationalist Vox party has little chance of winning the elections but it may become indispensable to the right to form a majority. In fact, part of his program should then be applied. Here are the main measurements that Vox offers.

The nationalist right is on the rise in Europe. Italy, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, electoral breakthroughs follow one another and Spain is no exception to the rule. On July 23, the right-wing candidate Alberto Núñez Feijóo should come out on top if the polls are to be believed. However, the Partido Popular (PP) would not have an absolute majority and would have to appeal to Vox which is in 3rd or 4th position with more than 12% of the vote.

If the right makes a pact with Vox, as it did at the end of last month at the local level in the region of Valencia, it will have to adopt measures that are part of the program of the far right. In Valencia, for example, it was agreed to no longer subsidize Catalan associations, to stop aid in favor of the LGTBI collective, to toughen measures against squatters, to thoroughly review policies for equality between men and women or to support bullfighting.

A centralized Spain

At the national level, Vox wants, on the French territorial model, a strong central State and centralized administratively. So that would be the end of autonomous regional governments. Such a provision is complex to put in place since it is necessary to reform the Constitution through a vote of three-fifths of parliament followed by a referendum.

To go faster, Vox proposes to empty the autonomous competences of the regions. That is to say the dissolution of regional police forces such as the Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia, the dismantling of local health networks or the end of regional education policies. Because all these powers are governed by ordinary laws of the national parliament, which a majority can revoke.

It is hard to see the Partido Popular embarking on such an adventure even under the influence of Vox. The consensus within the population is too important to undo the competences of the regions. On the other hand, we can bet on a tightening of the screws on the part of the government for the financing of the territories. Each year, the parliament votes in its general budget the share which is granted to each region. Catalonia, by its nature of identity and the desire for independence of part of its population, is in the sights of Vox. It is clear that every gesture of the government towards the Generalitat will be scrutinized and criticized by the party of Santiago Abascal. The tension can quickly rise between Barcelona and Madrid and thus give a boost to the independence movement today dormant in a Catalan population politically exhausted by 10 years of struggles without result.

Societal conservative shift

Societally, Vox wants to repeal all feminist and LGTBI laws currently in force in the country. From gender reassignment to abortion to euthanasia, Vox wants to pass the conservative towel on legislation written in progressive ink. There is a fringe of the Partido Popular, often close to the Catholic movement, which is not very far from the ideas of Vox.

Admittedly, the PP will not go down the socially complicated road of repeal, but may toughen up certain texts. In particular on the maximum weeks of pregnancy for a legal abortion, today set at 14 in classic cases and up to 22 in the event of danger to the physical or mental health of the mother. This last point could be shortened, just like the possibility of abortion for a minor without informing her parents, or the right to change gender from the age of 14.

Tax overhaul

Vox promises the biggest tax revolution in Spanish history. A radical reduction in income tax which would be limited to 15% for salaries up to 70,000 euros and 25% above. Again, the PP will not go that far, but with each passage of the right to power in Spain, taxes go down.

Climatoscepticism

At the environmental level, Vox is climatosceptic and as such pleads for the abolition of low emission zones in cities and greater ease of mobility for gasoline cars. Here, the Spanish government will be under the watchful eye of Brussels, which has financed a number of measures in the country such as the creation of cycle paths.

Europhobia

That’s good because Vox wants to leave the European Union as we know it. The party wants the exclusive return of all powers ceded to Europe and no longer be accountable to Brussels. On the model of what Hungary is currently doing.

Return of order

At the level of insecurity and immigration that are linked in the Vox program, we find the deportation of foreign offenders and national preference. This is the end of social assistance for immigrants. At the preference level, in general, the military will be given priority for jobs within the administration. And the figure of the dictator Franco will be rehabilitated because he “fought for Spain from different historical perspectives” concludes the Vox program.

It is obvious that migration and security policies will be toughened with the return of the right to power, as is the case with each passage of the Partido Popular in power. Regarding the Francoist legacy, the right is ambiguous and refuses to openly condemn the previous regime in the name of the reconciliation of Spanish society.

This article is originally published on equinoxmagazine.fr

 

Latvian Human Rights Committee Previous post Profile: Latvian Human Rights Committee
Next post European Parliament Votes On Nature Restoration: A Biodiversity Milestone