May 20. 2024. 11:33

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Sanchez: Spanish right-wing ‘moving closer’ to far-right


Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leader of the centre-right party Partido Popular (PP/EPP) is teaming up with far-right party VOX as his party announced it would abstain in Wednesday’s vote on the no-confidence motion in the Spanish government, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Saturday.

In a party meeting on Saturday, Sánchez (PSOE/S&D) accused Núñez Feijóo of “moving closer to VOX” with his party’s abstention, which he announced last week. In October 2020, former PP leader Pablo Casado voted against a similar motion, also tabled by VOX.

Sánchez recalled that Casado had “marked a clear distance with the far-right” at the time, but that with his abstention, the PP is now – indirectly – aligning with the far-right.

“The reason is simple: Feijóo’s project is to (repeat) the coalition government with the far-right (in Castilla y León) wherever it adds up”, Sánchez added.

The motion will be presented before parliament on Tuesday and voted in the Chamber the day after. However, it is likely doomed to fail as only the 52 VOX MPs in parliament – short of the 176 MPs needed for the motion to pass – will vote in its favour.

Former Spanish communist leader and veteran intellectual Ramón Tamames, who drafted the motion and will present it, explained that the move was necessary because Sánchez has transformed Spain into an “absorbing autocracy”, the text of the motion reads.

Besides fiercely criticising Sánchez and his left-wing coalition, Tamames proposes an early election for 28 May.

“Why are they so desperate to end the legislature, why are they so impatient, what is happening that is so terrible that they are so upset? They are under attack because there is a government that governs for the majority and does not bow down to the powerful,” Sánchez stated.

“The leader of the far-right (Santiago Abascal) does not show his face and presents an interposed candidate (Tamames)”, he added.

At the same time, Sanchez has urged parties to imagine what would have happened had the 2020 motion of censure been successful and recalled the many achievements of his government since he took office in 2018 – including, according to him, progress on the labour market, the minimum wage increase, and the “solidarity tax” on large banks and electricity companies, among others.

Sanchez’s PSOE is currently polling with 32.7%, six-tenths of a point more than in February 4.7%, while its left-wing coalition partner saw a dramatic drop in the polls to 10%, a fresh poll by state-owned CIS reveals. At the same time, PP is at 28%, almost two points less than last month.

Municipal and regional elections will be held in May in Spain – a vote many view as the first litmus test for Sanchez’s coalition with Unidas Podemos – a political relation currently under fire.

General elections will be held in December when Spain is in the final month of its EU Council presidency, which starts on 1 July.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)