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Far right takes share of power in third region in Spain

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Far right takes share of power in third region in Spain
The Extremadura agreement was reached after lengthy negotiations that were complicated by the remarks of Vox's deputy leader in Valencia who controversially denied the existence of gender-based violence. (Photo by Pau Barrena / AFP)

Spain's right-wing Popular Party and far-right Vox said Friday they had reached a deal to jointly govern the southwestern Extremadura region in their latest tie-up just weeks before a snap election.

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It was their second such agreement since the May 28th local and regional elections when both parties saw gains, with the results dealing a major blow to the ruling Socialists and their hard-left coalition partner Podemos and prompting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to announce an early general election on July 23rd.

Extremadura's regional government will be headed by the PP's María Guardiola while Vox will take the agricultural portfolio, which will be renamed the department of forest management and the rural world, the two parties said in a statement.

Extremadura becomes the third of Spain's 17 regions to be jointly run by the PP and Vox, following a first such arrangement in the northern Castilla y León region last year, and another in Valencia earlier this month.

Polls have long indicated the PP will win the July 23rd vote, but without an absolute majority, meaning the party will likely have to seek Vox's support to govern.

The two parties have also inked a deal in the Balearic Isles where Vox has agreed to abstain in order to ensure the investiture of the PP's Marga Prohens as head of the regional government.

Although the PP will govern alone in the Mediterranean archipelago, it will be supported by Vox in the regional parliament.

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Details of their agreement in Valencia sparked widespread criticism after the PP aligned itself with Vox on several issues, notably dropping the concept of "gender violence" -- that specifically perpetrated by a man against a woman -- in favour of "intra-family violence" which applies to any violence within a domestic context.

Within the Valencia government, Vox holds the deputy leader's position and runs two regional departments.

READ ALSO: What a Vox government could mean for foreigners in Spain

So far, the parties have not made public details of their agreement in Extremadura which gives less weight to Vox than in Valencia.

The Extremadura agreement was reached after lengthy negotiations that were complicated by the remarks of Vox's deputy leader in Valencia who controversially denied the existence of gender-based violence.

Earlier this month, the PP's Guardiola had quickly ruled out any agreement with "a party that denies male violence against women" but was later pushed to enter talks with Vox.

Her opposition had initially been supported by the PP until its leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo said her reaction had been "inappropriate"

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