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ELECTION

Spain’s Vox picks homophobic Holocaust denier as electoral candidate

Spain’s far-right Vox party in Spain has picked a Holocaust denier to head the electoral list for Albacete in the next general election.

Spain's Vox picks homophobic Holocaust denier as electoral candidate
Photo: AFP

Fernando Paz, dubbed a pseudo-historian by El Pais, has publicly stated that facts concerning the Holocaust are “far from having been established with accuracy” and called the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals a “farce.”

“Although it is undeniable that there were organized killings of Jews, “ he said at a 2016 talk at Spain's Falange party headquarters- “What really happened is far from having been established with precision.”

He went on to insist that most Jewish people during the Second World War were murdered by local populations in Eastern Europe, although some were also killed “by German troops for military and ideological reasons.”

And denied the existence of gas chambers, claiming that instead, evidence points to the majority of Jews being killed by gunfire.

On Wednesday, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain condemned the Paz nomination.

“In any European country where justice was served in connection with this traumatic episode of history, it is unthinkable that such a person with such views would present himself for pubic office,” the federation’s statement read.

Paz has also denied the account of the bombing of Gernika – the 1937 air attack on a small Basque town during market day that was immortalised in Picasso’s famous painting. Instead he insisted during a televised debate with Pablo Iglesias in 2013, that it was “a myth crafted in England by The Times to justify the British rearmament program.”

Removing any doubts that the party does not veer to the extreme right, the latest candidate to be announced has also openly expressed homophobic views.

El Pais reported that in 2013 during an interview on El Gato al Agua show on Intereconomía TV he said:   “If my son told me he was gay, I would try to help him. There are therapies to treat this psychology.” he said. 

This week the party leader, Santiago Abascal called for Spain to loosen its gun laws to allow people to keep arms in the home and defend themselves against attackers.

READ MORE: Far-right Vox party wants to loosen Spain's gun laws

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HEALTH

Spain ‘suspends lower house of parliament’ after far-right MP tests positive for coronavirus

Spain's lower house of parliament was reportedly suspended on Tuesday after an MP from the far-right Vox party tested positive for the coronavirus.

Spain 'suspends lower house of parliament' after far-right MP tests positive for coronavirus
Ortega Smith (L) with party leader Santiago Abascal in Madrid on election night. Photo: AFP

Javier Ortega Smith, the secretary general of the far right party Vox is among those who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Spain two days after he attended a crowded rally in Madrid, the party confirmed on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Ortega attended Vox’s annual rally with thousands of supporters held in Vistalegre where he greeted dozens of party supporters with hugs and kisses, according to footage distributed by the party.

In a statement tweeted by Vox leader Santiago Abascal, the party apologised for holding the event, a move which it admitted now was “a mistake”.

“We understood that it would have been irresponsible to generate panic by suspending a public event while the rest of the country continued to operate as normal,” read the statement.

“That was a mistake for which we apologize,” it continued before laying the blame at the door of the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez for not calling off public demonstrations held across Spain for International Woman’s Day on March 8th.

 “We trusted that this government would at least put the health of Spaniards ahead of its propaganda agenda,” the statement continued.

Ortega is the first of Spain’s lawmakers to be diagnosed with the virus which has so far struck more than 1.200 people and caused at least 30 deaths.

Vox said that they would now insist that all its 52 MPs would be working from home.

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