Crisis In The Iberian Peninsula?
It has been observed that the ultra-nationalist right-wing forces have gained popularity in Europe in the last decade… However, Spain was an exception. The right-wing VOX Party didn’t receive even 1% of votes in 2016 General Elections. In the recently-held elections, the party has received more than 10% of votes, and is all set to enter the Parliament with 24 members. After Germany’s AfD, the National Rally of France and the Netherlands’ FvD, the VOX Party has started playing an important role in National Politics! After performing well in local elections in Andalusia Province, the VOX has tasted success at national level!
Naturally, the question arises: whether it would be right to address Spain as an ‘exception’ in Europe?
No far-right party had managed to perform well in Spain, since the death of Dictator Francisco Franco Bahamonde in 1975. The centrist Socialists and the Conservatives have been ruling the country for nearly four decades. It seems that Spain, too, has started moving towards the right direction! The fear is not at all unusual, as the number of seats of the centrist People’s Party or Partido Popular (PP) in the Parliament has come down to less than half, compared to the last election! It seems that a number of PP supporters voted in favour of the VOX Party on April 28! This way, ultra-nationalism, seemingly, has attracted centrists or moderates in different countries…
However, it may be said that there exist differences between VOX Party and ultra-nationalist right-wing parties in other European countries. It gained the confidence of the Spanish people by portraying the strength of ‘National Unity’, and also by opposing the ‘separatist’ Catalan Movement! The Province of Catalonia launched the movement against the Spanish domination… but, it is considered as a different issue! Unlike other ultra-nationalist parties in the continent, the VOX Party did not trigger a wave of anti-immigrant intolerant sentiment to perform well in the Parliamentary Polls! This sort of hatred is still not popular in Spain…
However, there is no guarantee that such hatred would never become a part of the Spanish political culture! The centrists, there, have a duty not to allow the ultra-nationalists to take control of the national politics. As the Prime Minister and also as Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE, which has emerged as the single largest party in the Parliament with 28.7% of votes and 123 seats), Pedro Sánchez will have to take care of this in the coming years.
Sánchez had formed a minority government in Madrid after former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tendered resignation on May 31, 2018, a day before facing a Motion of No Confidence promoted by Sánchez. Sánchez made the move after the First Definitive Court convicted a series of (Rajoy’s) People’s Party officials while delivering verdict on the Gürtel Corruption case. Within a year, PM Sánchez took a risk by holding snap Parliamentary Polls. However, his decision has paid rich dividends, as the PSOE has managed to get 123 seats. Although the Socialists failed to secure the absolute majority, Sánchez successfully gained the confidence of voters by implementing some welfare policies, such as increasing the minimum wage of the workers, in his sort term as the PM. Indeed, it was a wise decision!
The Spanish Parliament
It is evident in history that wise decisions and common sense helped Socialists and Centrists counter the Ultra-nationalists, politically! It’s not only important for Sánchez, but also for Spain (Europe and the entire world) to follow this path…
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