Catalan president says 'voting is best antidote to far-right' reacting to French elections

Pere Aragonès congratulates left-wing New Popular Front, while far-right wins in Northern Catalonia

ERC leaders Oriol Junqueras, Pere Aragonès, and Laura Vilagrà at a campaign rally in Pineda de Mar
ERC leaders Oriol Junqueras, Pere Aragonès, and Laura Vilagrà at a campaign rally in Pineda de Mar / Àlex Recolons
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 8, 2024 09:43 AM

July 8, 2024 09:57 AM

The sitting Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, has said that the election results in France are a "lesson to the whole of Europe." For him, "those in favor of democracy going to the polls and voting is the best antidote to far-right," he wrote in a message on X, formerly Twitter.

Aragonès, a member of the Catalan pro-independence Esquerra Republicana party, took the opportunity to congratulate the left-wing coalition New Popular Front party, which won the legislative election, surpassing the National Rally party, and Ensemble party (French president Emmanuel Macron's political force).

The Spanish government also congratulated France for "stopping far-right," which is "totally against European values and all of those elements the European Union and Spain work towards every day, such as pluralism, tolerance, and the rule of law," José Manuel Albares, Spain's foreign minister, said in an interview with Spanish public radio station RNE.

Albares said that in "very few days," there has been a "victory" of progressive forces that "believe in tolerance, development, equality, and progress" in both France and the United Kingdom.

Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares
Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares / Nazaret Romero

"We have a lot of optimism in being able to work with progressive governments that push forward these European values," Albares added.

Far-right wins in Northern Catalonia

The far-right National Rally group, led by Marine Le Pen, won in the four regions in Northern Catalonia, according to the final results announced on Sunday night.

One of the regions was already decided in the first round in late June, while the other three were still being challenged, with some locals' fear.

National Rally candidates Sophie Blanc, Sandrine Dogor-Such, and Michèle Martinez surpassed their opponents from the New Popular Front: Francis Daspe, Nathalie Cullell, and Julien Baraillé, respectively. The far-right candidates all obtained between 56% and 58% of the votes.

Turnout in the three undecided regions on Sunday was between 65% and 69%.

Anaïs Sabatini, from the National Rally, won her seat during the first round on June 30 with 54.98% of the votes.