Vox defected to the “Patriots for Europe” as expected


On July 3, the European Conservative and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament announced its constitution. Vox was among the 18 parties and the independent MEP from Estonia. Moreover, Vox intended to play a leading role in the group. His MEP, Hermann Tertsch, was also elected as one of the four vice-chairs of the group.

However, Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Spanish far-right party, decided to defect to the Patriots for Europe group, formed on June 30 by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Since its establishment, the Patriots have absorbed members from Marine Le Pen‘s Identity and Democracy (ID) group, making it clear that the entire ID was ready to change its name.

Vox nurtured close relations with the Le Pen’s National Rally in the previous year and adopted many of its political positions. Also, the ties with the Portuguese party Chega, an ID member, brought Vox closer to the ID group.

Last May, Le Pen was among the speakers at the Europa Viva 24 event, a gathering of far-right parties organised by the Spanish party. Attendees applauded the French leader. It is worth noting that, despite the event being an ECR initiative, it was Le Pen and not Giorgia Melloni, the ECR leader, who had the most privileged reception. Moreover, Meloni didn’t attend the event but delivered her intervention online.

Abascal has also had relations with Orbán since their meeting in Budapest in November 2021. The two discussed their parties’ future cooperation and joint action against “globalists.”

In addition, Vox is far more radical than many ECR parties and didn’t appreciate Meloni’s abstention during the vote to re-elect Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission.

Thus, it was a surprise that Vox was among the leading parties of ECR on July 3.

Then suddenly, in a meeting with the Political Director of Viktor Orbán’s office, Balázs Orbán, on July 5, Abascal announced that his party decided to join the Patriots.

Abascal’s decision blew up Giorgia Meloni’s ambitions to bring ECR to third place in the European Parliament. His defection deprived ECR of such a position, as Vox’s 6 MEPs increased Patriots MEPs to 84 while decreasing ECR’s representatives to 78.

Abascal tried to minimise its act of treason with a post on X in which he explained that his relationship with Meloni and bilateral relations between his party and Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) is still strong.

“The simpletons, the manipulators, and the opportunistic vultures make no mistake. The personal relationship with Giorgia Meloni goes far beyond daily and detailed politics. Because there is a personal, political, and moral bond between them. And VOX’s bilateral relationship with Fratelli D’Italia goes far beyond the groups in the European Parliament. Because it is a common historical project that, with all the allies, will rebuild Europe”.

However, it is doubtful that Meloni appreciated the post of the Spanish far-right leader.

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