Spain's far right takes office in a string of major cities

AFP/The Local
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Spain's far right takes office in a string of major cities
Santiago Abascal, leader of Spanish far-right party Vox, gestures as he delivers a speech to his supporters during an anti-government protest in Madrid in November 2022. Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP

The coalition joining far-right party Vox with the conservative Popular Party (PP) took power in 10 major Spanish cities on Saturday in a tie-up that may be replicated after next month's national vote.


The mediaeval city of Toledo and the northern city of Burgos were among the municipalities to swear in a PP-Vox coalition government on Saturday following local and regional elections held on Sunday, May 28th.

Vox said in a statement it would seek to abolish "ideological" city departments, such as those dedicated to promoting equality, which "squander" money and have not solved people's "real problems".

Opposition forces Popular Party and Vox performed well in last month's polls, prompting Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to call an early general election on July 23rd.

Most surveys suggest the PP will win the most votes in the upcoming snap elections but will need to form an alliance with Vox to be able to form a government.

Sanchez has made the threat of a government potentially uniting Vox with the conservative party a central plank of his re-election campaign.

Earlier this week, a deal reached between the PP and Vox to govern the eastern Valencia region following last month's election sparked large controversy.

READ ALSO: Spain's PP unites with far-right to rule Valencia region

Notably, the head of Vox in Valencia, Jose Maria Llanos, caused widespread outrage after he said "gender violence does not exist".

PP leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo, who cultivates an image as a moderate, immediately sought to distance himself, saying in a tweet that "gender violence does exist" and the "PP will not take a step backwards in the fight against this scourge".

Vox has so far only governed in a coalition with the PP in the sparsely populated region of Castilla y Leon near Madrid.


Founded in 2013 by disgruntled former members of the mainstream PP, Vox is the third-largest party in parliament.

Among the other cities where a PP-Vox coalition government was sworn in on Saturday was Alcala de Henares, the birthplace of author Miguel de Cervantes, and Mostoles, just south of Madrid.


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