Far-right blasts key role of independence MPs for Spain's governance in motion of no confidence

Attempt to oust PM to fail with support only from Vox, as parties say initiative echoes Francoism

Ramón Tamames and Santiago Abascal in Congress on March 21, 2023
Ramón Tamames and Santiago Abascal in Congress on March 21, 2023 / Spanish Congress

ACN | @agenciaacn | Madrid

March 21, 2023 07:20 PM

March 21, 2023 07:26 PM

The independence debate in Catalonia was one of the main ideas the far right used in the motion of no confidence they presented on Tuesday in Congress, which aims to oust the left-leaning government in Spain.

Vox put forward former communist senior official Ramón Tamames as their candidate for prime minister and the first session of the debate on Tuesday confirmed that his bid will not be successful – none of the parties that took part in the session intends to back him, so the 52 out of the 350 MPs in Congress will be the only ones who will vote Yes.

During his speech, 89-year-old Tamames that that Spain's minority government needs support from pro-independence parties "in exchange for all kinds of concessions for self-determination."

"Self-determination does not exist," he emphasized.

"You cannot go hand in hand with the pro-independence people, who want to destroy what you want to govern."

"Spain's minority government needs support [from pro-independence parties] in exchange for all kinds of concessions for self-determination. Self-determination does not exist," said Ramón Tamames / Catalan News

The 13 MPs for Esquerra, Catalonia's ruling party and advocating for independence, have been key for the Socialist-led government in Madrid to ensure a stable majority in Congress since the beginning of the current term – Esquerra has helped passed some of the most important laws the cabinet has put forward, including the budget.

Tamames also said that the Catalan administration is denying the implementation of the minimum 25% of Spanish classes in schools as ruled by the Spanish Supreme Court "with the support of Spain's government."

Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, replied to the accusations by saying that the independence debate is no longer one of the main concerns of residents according to the lates polls, and the support for a Catalan republic "is decreasing" to lower than 40%.

"Where there was confrontation, today there is coexistence," he said.

Also, Sánchez blasted Tamames, who has a left-leaning background, for accepting to be Vox's bidder to oust the current head of government.

Parties suggest motion of no confidence echoes Francoism

"Those who have put forward your bid are Blas Piñar's successors," he said, referring to a Francoist politician who became one of the most outspoken far-right voices against democracy when the dictator Francisco Franco died.

Other parties also suggested the initiative echoes Francoism, including far-left CUP.

"They are the same people who were threatening to lead a military uprising during the transition to democracy, and the same ones who rose against the Republic in 1936," MP Mireia Vehí said, referring to the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

Junts' Míriam Nogueras, also from Catalonia, said that the motion of no confidence has been used by the Spanish government to "ditch" the European parliament mission in Madrid investigating for two days the espionage made by Pegasus to pro-independence parties.

Other parties such as the People's Party took the floor to say that "it will be Spaniards who will lift the confidence on Sánchez in the upcoming election." The conservatives will be the only ones abstaining.