PP accepts some of far-right Vox’s demands in order to govern Andalusia

After long negotiations in the wake of elections last December, the conservative group’s deal will see the Socialist Party lose power in the region for the first time in 36 years

Juanma Moreno of the PP and Francisco Serrano of Vox.
Juanma Moreno of the PP and Francisco Serrano of Vox.Jose Manuel Vidal. (EFE)

Far-right political party Vox on Wednesday pledged to help a right-wing coalition secure power in Andalusia, signaling the end of 36 years of Socialist Party (PSOE) administrations in the southern region.

The decision comes after Vox dropped some of the more radical demands it was making in exchange for its support, including the deportation of 52,000 undocumented migrants and the repeal of gender violence legislation.

Vox has dropped some of its more radical demands including the deportation of 52,000 migrants and the repeal of gender violence legislation

In turn, the Popular Party (PP) is incorporating some of Vox’s requirements into its own policies on issues such as education, family and historical memory laws.

Support from Vox’s 12 lawmakers will allow the PP’s Juan Manuel Moreno to become the new regional premier after the PP reached a governing pact with the liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) party.

On Thursday, parties will meet with Speaker Marta Bosquet and the latter will name an official nominee to the premiership, as well as a date for the investiture debate. The PP’s Moreno has said that he would like the debate to take place on January 16.

The PP, Ciudadanos and Vox together hold 59 seats in the house. Fifty-five are required for a majority.

While Vox itself will not be joining the governing coalition, it holds the key to power after securing 11% of the vote at the December 2 elections. The PSOE won the most seats but lost its majority, paving the way for a brand new governing alliance that PP leaders hope can be exported to other parts of Spain, where local and regional elections will take place later this year.

Meanwhile, Ciudadanos, which has repeatedly refused to meet with Vox, insists that the latter’s agreement with the PP will not affect the new Andalusian government’s policies in any way.

Ciudadanos’ own governing agreement with the PP seeks to reform what is viewed as a bloated administration by lowering the number of departments from 13 to 11, reducing high-ranking positions, and auditing the executive’s expenses.

Mutual concessions

Using deliberately ambiguous language, the 37-point deal between the PP and Vox reflects how the mainstream conservatives have taken on some of the far right group’s demands on economic, cultural and historical issues.

Both parties have agreed on the need for a “concord law” to replace the Historical Memory Law, which seeks to bring reparations to the victims of the Civil War (1936-1939) and Franco dictatorship.

But there is no more mention of eliminating public subsidies for Islamic associations, or of changing Andalusia Day from February 28 to January 2, coinciding with the anniversary of the 1492 Christian reconquest of Spain after seven centuries of Moorish rule.

The PP and Vox also agreed on the need to improve daycare facilities, extend free pre-school education and give tax incentives to families in order to drive up the birth rate.

On the immigration front, Vox gave up on its mass-deportation plans and is now calling on the new government to avoid any decisions that could have a magnet effect for migrants.

The PP and Vox also agreed to support public manifestations of Andalusian culture, such as flamenco and Holy Week celebrations. But there is no more mention of a new law to protect hunting.

One of the points proposes a new law to support the bullfighting industry, “a source of wealth and jobs.”

The economy is where Vox, the PP and also Ciudadanos have found the most common ground. All three parties want reforms to reduce income tax, estate tax and inheritance tax.

English version by Susana Urra.

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