PP and Ciutadans will govern Andalusia with far right support
After campaign against Catalonia's independence movement, conservative parties ally to end 40 years of Socialist rule in Spain's southern region
There was widespread consternation when the Vox party won 12 seats in Andalusia's regional election in December, as it was the first time that a far-right party had gained a foothold in a parliament in Spain since the return of democracy in 1975.
Moreno to be Andalusia's president
That dismay is likely to grow further, particularly in Catalonia, with the announcement on Wednesday that Vox has come to agreement with the conservative People's Party (PP) to support the investiture of PP leader Juanma Moreno as president of Andalusia. The agreement with Vox additionally foresees substituting the Law of Historical Memory with another of "harmony."
Juanma Moreno celebrated a "historical agreement" that makes "change in Andalusia" possible, and highlighted the "effort" of his PP party to make an agreement first with Ciutadans and later with Vox. "Today a new page in Andalusia's history begins," he proclaimed.
Cs celebrates their deal with PP
The deal also has the support of the Ciudadanos party (Cs), whose Catalan wing -Ciutadans- is the main unionist opposition party in Catalonia, giving Moreno 59 votes (four more than needed) in his bid to end almost four decades of uninterrupted Socialist rule.
Leader of Ciutadans Albert Rivera also praised the agreement on his Twitter account, by echoing it being a "historical" day of change after 40 years, and affirmed that it is because of the "enormous growth of Cs in the ballot boxes," going from 9 to 21 seats.
Despite 700 kilometers separating Andalusia from Catalonia, the independence issue played a major role in the election campaign in Spain's southern region. Cs, PP and Vox ran electoral campaigns portraying the independence movement as a major threat to Spanish unity.
Cs leader in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, who is from Andalusia, went to the region to campaign for votes, while the party outfitted a campaign bus featuring images of pro-independence leaders with the slogan: "They are laughing at you."
Catalan speaker: PP-Vox "agreement of shame"
Roger Torrent, the Catalan parliament speaker, called the agreement between PP and Vox "an agreement of shame." On his Twitter account, the speaker affirmed that "First, they accepted their rhetoric, then they opened the doors to the institutions and now they're going to govern thanks to them," referring to Vox.
At the end of December, Catalan government spokeswoman, Elsa Artadi, publicly described the support of Cs and PP for Vox as "disgraceful," and she called on Arrimadas to "explain why [her party] decided to ally with the far right when no one else in Europe is doing so."
Vox, with its call to "make Spain great again" and which its detractors accuse of being a nationalist throwback to the Francisco Franco dictatorship, has been a vociferous opponent of the independence movement and has even taken legal action against Catalan leaders.