Far-right party Vox wants expulsion of 52,000 migrants in exchange for votes

Demands have been tabled in ongoing negotiations to form a regional government in Andalusia, but conservative Popular Party has already called them “unacceptable”

The general secretary of VOX, Javier Ortega, speaking to supporters in Granada.
The general secretary of VOX, Javier Ortega, speaking to supporters in Granada.Fermín Rodríguez

The demands made by the far-right party Vox in exchange for supporting a center-right government in Spain’s southern Andalusia region have been described as “unacceptable” by other parties.

Vox has a list of 19 demands that include the repeal of regional legislation affording special protection to women and LGTBI groups, and the creation of new laws to protect bullfighting, hunting and “popular culture and traditions.”

Borja Sémper, PP spokesman in Basque parliament

It also wants to deport 52,000 undocumented migrants and eliminate public subsidies for “supremacist feminism” and for “Islamic associations.”

The Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos have reached a power-sharing deal after the governing Socialist Party (PSOE) suffered a major setback at the December 2 election. The pact seeks to end 36 years of socialist rule in Spain’s most populated region. The PSOE garnered the most seats in the polls, but fell well short of a majority.

Voters in Andalusia also gave 12 seats to the far-right Vox, whose support is crucial to this change in government even though the party has not been asked to join the pact.

Santiago Abascal, Vox president

The PP, which met with Vox on Tuesday in an undisclosed location in Madrid, has already described these requests as “unacceptable.” Ciudadanos, whose leaders have refused to meet with Vox representatives, is also rejecting the demands.

The lack of consensus hurts the PP’s chances of taking power in a traditional Socialist stronghold that is home to around 8.4 million people. It also pours cold water on the belief of PP national leader Pablo Casado that this right-wing pact could be exported to other parts of Spain, where local and regional elections will be held later this year.

“Vox seems to care more about Vox than about Andalusians,” said sources at the PP. “This document proves that they don’t want an agreement. If they don’t change their position, they will be wasting a historic opportunity.”

“It would have been faster to just demand the expulsion from Andalusia of anyone who is not a dyed-in-the-wool Vox fan. That way we would avoid going through this whole rigmarole,” added Borja Sémper, the PP spokesperson in the Basque parliament.

But Vox leader Santiago Abascal insists that theirs is a list of negotiable proposals, not mere rhetorical challenges. “We have the right and the duty to make them,” he said. “We don’t aim to please everyone, but nor are we trying to fool anyone. And we will continue to represent the 400,000 Andalusians who gave us their trust – without fear and without asking for permission.”

Common ground on education

Also on the list of Vox’s requirements is an official statement showing support for the re-centralization of powers over education, health, justice and public order. There could be some common ground here with the PP, whose leader Casado has said that it should be possible to re-centralize education without having to change the Spanish Constitution. Both parties share the belief that it is necessary to combat schoolroom “indoctrination” by some regional governments.

English version by Susana Urra.

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