In Brussels, the decline of Spain’s far right is viewed with relief. “There is no other anti-European government,” breathes Terry Renetke, co-chair of the Green Party in the European Parliament. after the general election This Sunday, in which the ultra-nationalist “Vox” party lost 19 seats. Belgian liberal Guy Verhofstadt highlighted: “The emergence of climate deniers and anti-LGBTQ people is not inevitable if voters stand up for European values.” “We have succeeded in stopping the situation of the alliance between the right and the far right,” the head of the European Parliament’s Social Democrats, Iratex García, abounds. Even in conservative political spaces, and although there is no clear talk of relief, it has been asserted that the result “leaves the far right vulnerable.”
Fox’s vote loss bolstered a pro-European majority in Spain, the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy and fourth-most populous country, according to several community sources. The party led by Santiago Abascal is sounding the European alarm Because he advocates the primacy of national law over community law, he speaks on his show of “Brussels bureaucrats” and denies the climate crisis – fighting it is a priority of EU institutions – as well as sexual violence. The outcome of the elections, in which the People’s Party is the power that gets the most votes, but the Socialist Workers’ Party wins votes and the left as a whole resists, also marks a breaking point in recent European patterns. Several sources in Brussels indicated that the recent elections in Italy, Sweden and Finland indicated an advance for outflanking forces which were not now seconded in Spain.
Sources from the European People’s Party (EPP) insist that the People’s Party won the elections, and confirmed that it did better than it did in 2019. The party’s sources, who do not want to predict what will happen given the volatility of the situation, say that “their strategy of playing in the center of politics has paid off by weakening the far right.” “[Alberto Núñez] They noted that Figo has a clear democratic mandate to form Spain’s next government.
“It is a turning point,” socialist Iratxe García explained on Monday, minutes before entering the meeting of the Federal Executive of the Socialist Party. The Spanish election was in the middle of a round of general elections that have recently reinforced Eurosceptic attitudes in the EU: in Sweden or Finland, the parties of the extreme class have been supported by popular parties (in Sweden, with parliamentary support, while in Finland they occupy a very prominent role in government). In the latter part of the year Poland and the Netherlands will arrive. in both countries, A series of shady profiles for Brussels have options for good results. For this reason, García and Rentke are confident that Spain will put an end to the power of these parties.
The reading is similar in France, albeit from another political field: “Good news for Europe. The Eurosceptic Vox party fell from 52 to 33 seats. Two European parties lead the elections,” stressed the French Foreign Minister, Lawrence Bonne (Liberal).
Those who shout the loudest are not always right: Europe remains dear to its citizens. pic.twitter.com/nMQ3D85UOE
– Lawrence Boone (@LaurenceBoone) July 24, 2023
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But there are those who go further and assert that the severe setback is also a blow to the strategy of the famous Europeans to rapprochement with the ultras gathered in the European Parliamentary Group of the European Center of Resistance. “A potential alliance between PPE and ECR seems questionable and less likely,” notes Alberto Alemanno, Professor of European Law at the College of Europe. “The far right in Spain and Europe is an opposition force capable of waging the culture war, but unable and unwilling to promote policies. The Spaniards have noticed that many European voters will do the same,” predicts this Italian analyst.
Alemanno’s reversal comes as a result of the affinity many European PP leaders have shown with ECR formations in recent months. The leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Núñez Viejo, who had already approved about 140 municipal councils and autonomous governments – like the Valencian Community or Extremadura – was open to the entry of Hermanos de Italia, Giorgia Meloni’s radical party and Vox’s ally, into the European People’s Party. head of that European family, Manfred Weber, has been flirting with this formation for some time And it has fostered rapprochement with parties from this spectrum to maintain power, though hiding behind the idea of a case-by-case walk and that they have to meet three requirements: to be Euro-Atlantic (some points on Fox’s platform are clearly Eurosceptic), pro-Ukraine and the rule of law.
The most cautious is Lisa Zanotti, of the Center for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion, who has studied the development of Vox in great depth. This expert points out that the issue of the extremist party in Spain is very specific, as its progress has been linked to a crisis practical In Catalonia, it is not so much about immigration or security issues as in other countries. “Vox is going backwards, but his ideas have already permeated Spanish society, as they have in others, and they are here to stay. Part of the Popular Party and its most important leaders are now more conservative than they have been in recent years,” says Zanotti, who looks warily at some of the celebrations due to the decline of the Vox party. “There was no healthy cordon on the right, but everything is the result of electoral law and that the People’s Party has regained its strength,” says Zanotti.
In the corridors of Brussels, the extreme character of Vox, which has elements in its program such as the abolition of the new European Bauhaus, an initiative in which the President of the European Commission is heavily involved and which proposes a rethinking of “more sustainable living” in various fields and disciplines – with particular attention to the formulas of the European Green Pact – has caused some concern. A turn towards the extreme right in Spain, which would attract more moderate attitudes towards their camp, would give great weight to this type of formation in the European Council and even the possibility of blocking any initiative of the European Commission. Ultras are already ruling in Italy, Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic. Hence the convenience. Major European projects are still on the table Such as green legislation and various social directives.
Community sources indicate that the reality in Spain also shows that these troops are “noisier” than what is later translated into benches. Another European source indicates that whatever the equation in the Spanish government, the Eurosceptic ultras were somewhat weakened. Vox lost 19 seats. As for breaking this trend, it can be noted that “Spain is a very important pillar of EU policy,” says a source from the community. However, the European Parliament elections, scheduled for June 2024, will be another chapter. Before they vote in Slovakia, Luxembourg, Poland (where the conservative Law and Justice party, an ally of Vox’s, aspires to renew its mandate) and the Netherlands, where there is a major split in the middle of which the agrarian populist party leads the Peasant Citizens Movement, and which opposes many of the EU’s green measures.
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