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Spanish far-right party emerges with 10,000-strong event

Suspending Catalan self-rule, banning pro-independence parties, deporting migrants and abolishing gender violence law, among measures proposed

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08 October 2018 01:12 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

They want to suspend Catalonia's self-rule and that of all other Spanish territories, to ban any party or organization defending independence, to deport all "illegal migrants," to abolish the gender violence law, as well as abortion and the historical memory law, among others.

They are Vox, Spain's far-right party, and for the first time ever since their foundation in 2013, they have a chance of getting seats in major parliaments.

Vox only got 0.2% of the votes in the last Spanish election –but the latest polls suggest that they could get some MEPs in the upcoming European election, along with representation after the next vote for the Spanish Congress.

Dramatic increase in membership

Twelve months ago, they had around 3,000 members, but now they are more than 10,000, according to their leaders.

Although Vox is already well-known in Catalonia and Spain, mainly because it acts as a private prosecutor in the independence judicial case, it was on Sunday when it first became obvious that the organization could play a role in Spanish political life in the near future.

The party held a 10,000-strong event in Madrid, in a sports pavilion full of Spanish flags, and the people who talked to the audience included the organization's president, Santiago Abascal, who demanded "an immediate fresh election" to the Spanish president.

"Spanish people first"

Its secretary general, Javier Ortega, showed with his speech that Vox is a Trump-like party, and also close to Matteo Salvini's Lega Nord in Italy.

  • "Together we will make Spain great again" 

    Javier Ortega · Vox secretary general

"Together we will make Spain great again," he said according to some reports, also committing during the event to put "Spanish people first."

'Spain alive' and 'resistance' were other mottos heard during the event.

In the past few months and years, Vox has taken part in several meetings with Marine Le Pen's French Rassemblement National (formerly known as National Front) and other parties in the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group.

Vox prompts other parties toughen stances

Some analysts claim that Vox is a far-right party or even close to fascism, and that its emergence has prompted the other right-wing Spanish forces, the People's Party and Ciutadans, toughen their stances in issues such as the Catalan crisis and immigration.

Indeed, the leader of the People's Party (PP), Pablo Casado, said last week that the far-left pro-independence CUP  party should be illegalized, and Ciutadans is considering joining this demand.

The PP also put forward a proposal to amend the Spanish penal code to include the crime of calling an illegal referendum and criticized the Socialist government when it allowed some refugee rescue boats dock in Spanish ports.

Meanwhile, Albert Rivera's party has defended Catalonia being directly ruled again from Madrid and their leaders removed yellow ribbons in solidarity with the jailed Catalan leaders themselves from some street furniture.

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  • Vistalegre pavillion in Madrid hosting an event by Vox party on October 8, 2018 (by Vox)

  • Vistalegre pavillion in Madrid hosting an event by Vox party on October 8, 2018 (by Vox)

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