Vox rejects City Hall deal after spat with Popular Party

The far-right group has accused the conservatives of breaking a power-sharing agreement and has said it will “move to the opposition” in Madrid in response

Vox spokesperson Iván Espinosa de los Monteros (c).
Vox spokesperson Iván Espinosa de los Monteros (c).ULY MARTÍN

The Spanish far-right party Vox has accused the conservative Popular Party (PP) of breaking a power-sharing agreement that guaranteed to give the group a place in local government, and has said that it will “move to the opposition” in response.

We are not here to fulfill empty responsibilities

Vox spokesperson Iván Espinosa de los Monteros

On June 15, Vox and the PP signed a secret deal that stated that the far-right group would be given “local government departments” and “leadership responsibilities in municipal bodies” in exchange for supporting coalition governments between the PP and Ciudadanos (Citizens) in every City Hall where the right-wing bloc “could stop a leftist government” from taking power. Under the deal, the parties were given 20 days to negotiate the distribution of power, according to how many votes Vox won in each area.

The agreement, made public by Vox on Tuesday, was signed ahead of the investiture vote for Madrid City Hall to guarantee that José Luis Martínez-Almeida, of the PP, be sworn in as the mayor of Madrid. But despite supporting Almeida’s bid, Vox was not offered a government position in Madrid City Hall, and the 21 districts in the city have been divided between the PP (12) and Ciudadanos (nine).

In response, Vox’s parliamentary spokesperson, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, said on Tuesday that the party will “refuse to hold any position in all places where this agreement has not been met.”

“Just 24 hours after taking advantage of Vox’s votes to regain control of [Madrid] City Hall, the PP announces the formation of a government, dividing the seats between the PP and Ciudadanos,” he said, referencing the lists for the members for the executive of Madrid City Hall and district leaders. “We are not here to fulfill empty responsibilities,” he added.

Vox has not wanted to negotiate

Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida

According to Espinosa, Vox will “move to the opposition” in all local governments where the agreement has not been upheld, and from this position “monitor, control, oversee, report wherever necessary.”

Espinosa did not confirm, however, whether Vox would “move to the opposition” in other City Halls, such as Zaragoza, Teruel and Granada, where the PP and Ciudadanos need the party’s votes to govern in coalition.

Almeida insisted that the PP has not broken any agreement given that the 20-day deadline has not yet passed, adding that “Vox has not wanted to negotiate.” Without Vox’s support, Almeida will struggle to pass budget plans or approve new by-laws and other local initiatives.

Vox conditions regional support on repeal of gay rights

As in Madrid City Hall, the Popular Party (PP) needs the support of Ciudadanos and Vox to govern in the region of Madrid. Vox however, has said that it will only vote to invest Isabel Díaz Ayuso, of the PP, as premier of the Spanish capital if Ciudadanos and PP agree to a series of conditions. These include creating a regional department for family, approving a "parental pin" so that parents can exclude their children from "activities against their convictions," and repealing a dozen articles of the two laws that protect LGBTQ+ rights.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

More information