Spain’s ‘Vox’ Party has become the latest populist movement to secure a strong presence in a European national parliament, picking up 24 seats in Sunday’s Spanish election.
Speaking about his party’s historic showing, Vox’s leader Santiago Abascal invoked the 15th century ‘Reconquista,’ when Spain recovered its territory from Islamic states, comparing it to the election results.
“We told you that we were going to begin a reconquering of Spain and that’s what we have done.”
Vox has gained popularity on the basis of a political platform that opposes mass immigration, feminism and Islamization. Some in European politics had considered Spain to be one of the nations immune to a continent-wide movement of nationalists and patriots challenging the decades-long dominance of neoliberals in national governments and the European Union.
The party has quickly filled a void in the southern European nation many had hoped would be filled by a real right-wing party, as many Spaniards had grown frustrated with the ineffectual centrist Popular Party. Spain’s Socialist Party held its control of government, but will have to govern in a coalition with other leftist and liberal parties. The center-right Citizen’s Party also siphoned voters from the Popular Party, which took a distant second place with 66 seats in parliament.
Separatist sentiment growing in regions of the country may have played a role in facilitating the growth of nationalism in Spain. The region of Catalonia has been seeking to secede from Spain since 2017, declaring independence unilaterally in defiance of the Spanish constitution.
Vox subscribes to a ‘soft Euroskepticism’ commonly supported by other right-wing continental European parties such as Poland’s Law and Justice and Hungary’s Fidesz. As opposed to outright leaving the European Union, Vox would seek to reform the globalist political union to recognize and promote the national sovereignty of its member-states. Under such a vision, EU member-states could gain from a regulated and balanced free-trade zone without being made subject to unlimited mass immigration from within the Schengen Area and political domination from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
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