VOX proposes irredentism, promotes polarisation in Spain

Public Domain Author : Vox España
Santiago Abascal during a rally in 2021.

The Spanish far-right party VOX cannot be considered among the winners of the last Sunday elections for the European Parliament as its percentage dropped considerably. Today, its leader, Santiago Abascal, presented to the Parliament an initiative that increases polarisation and creates problems with other countries, mainly the UK and Morocco. As the initiative is a non-law proposal, the party tries to distort any debate about its non-successful performance in the European elections.

During a press conference, Jorge Buxadé, the lead candidate of the far-right VOX in Sunday’s elections, didn’t hide his nervousness yesterday. He attacked European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and the EPP because they plan to continue their “coalition with the socialist party and the extreme left.”

In the July 2023 general election, VOX had a spectacular performance. With 12.4%, the far-right party believed it would grow permanently and eventually form local or national alliances with the conservative Partido Popular (PP). Thus, it set the target at 14% or more.

However, Sunday’s results reveal a considerable drop in support for Abascal’s party. Although VOX, an ECR member, increased its seats in the European Parliament from 4 to 6, it dipped to 9.6%.

Abascal’s plan for “national unity” proposes to declare the parties that seek separatism in their statutes, programmes, or declarations illegal. The leader of VOX accuses the Government of Socialist Pedro Sánchez of implementing policies that encourage separatism.

Aiming to polarise further, the initiative demands to “investigate the ETA crimes pending resolution and promote the search and making available to the fugitives from Justice belonging to the terrorist group ETA”. It is then curious how the party imagines “national unity”!

The party demands the toughening of the penalties for crimes such as treason and outrages against national symbols and the recovery of the crime of sedition.

VOX also wants to restrict autonomous communities’ legislative capacity in terms of education, health, security, and justice.

Promoting irredentism

But VOX also promotes irredentism, drawing the country to diplomatic adventures as it targets Gibraltar and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The party asks the Government to adopt measures to “guarantee sovereignty over the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the rest of the Spanish territories in North Africa”.

Ceuta and Melilla, the only EU territories in continental Africa, have belonged to Spain for over 500 years. Morocco has claimed the cities since its independence in 1956. However, according to international law, the two cities are not colonies, as they are fully integrated into the Spanish constitution. Also, the United Nations (UN) rejected Morocco’s previous attempts to gain rights over them and supported their status as Spanish provinces.

Thus, VOX’s “proposal” is a nonsensical movement. In addition, although Morocco cannot abandon its claims, mainly for internal political reasons, it is now in good relations with Spain. This occurred last March after the socialist Government accepted Morocco’s project on the autonomy of Western Sahara, which also represented a territorial dispute between the two states.  

Ceuta and Melilla are also central to migration crises.

Abascal’s initiative also demands the return of Gibraltar, a city located at the southern point of the Iberian Peninsula and is a British Overseas Territory.

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