When a group of fascists stormed the Madrid offices of the Catalan government on Catalonia's national day last year, few thought that it would be a launch-pad for their political careers.
But the six co-called 'ultras' — or right-wing activists — who pushed their way into the Centre Cultural Blanquerna on September 11th, chanting "Catalonia is Spain" and setting off pepper spray before being apprehended by police have been selected by two far-right parties to represent them in the European elections on May 25th this year.
Spanish daily El Mundo reported that Democracia Nacional (National Democracy) and La España en Marcha (a coalition of Spain's fascist party the Falange, the National Alliance and the Spanish Catholic Movement) have both submitted their candidate lists to the Spanish Electoral Board (JEC) for approval.
Alongside those arrested in Madrid, the candidates for the two parties include two men jailed in 2006 for possession of explosives, believed to be meant for use in terrorist attacks in the Basque Country.
A total of 41 Spanish parties have put themselves forward to stand at the European elections but they must first be given the green light by the electoral board.
They are required to demonstrate public support by presenting 15,000 signatures before being assessed to determine their legality.
Another potential newcomer to the European political scene is the currently suspended anti-corruption judge, Elpidio José Silva.
His newly formed RED (Democratic Citizen Renovation) platform announced this week that they would run an crowdfunding campaign to cover election costs, including the sale of t-shirts, autographs and dinner dates with the magistrate who became famous after jailing Miguel Blesa, the former head of Caja Madrid bank.