‘Center’ right-far-right collusion in Spain?


Ths November 2015 video says about itself:

Spain: Far-right activists mark 40th anniversary of General Franco‘s death

Around 300 far-right supporters gathered on Orient Square in Madrid, Sunday, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of dictator General Francisco Franco. The former Spanish leader died on November 20, 1975, in hospital after suffering from a prolonged illness.

By Paul Mitchell:

Spain: Rightist parties mull government role for fascist Vox in Andalusia

10 December 2018

The speed with which the Popular Party (PP) and Citizens

both officially ‘center right‘ parties

have moved towards incorporating the fascist Vox party into government in Andalusia is a warning to workers and youth across Spain and Europe.

The December 2 regional election was yet another devastating blow to the bipartisan political system created during the transition to parliamentary democracy following the death of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco in 1975.

The Socialist Party (PSOE) slumped from 47 seats in 2015 elections to 33, ending its 36 years of uninterrupted rule in the 109-seat assembly. The PP dropped from 33 in 2015 to 26 seats. The record abstention rate of almost 46 percent also indicates the widespread opposition to the traditional parties of government … . Participation, the lowest since 1990, was especially low in the PSOE’s working-class heartlands …

The electoral beneficiaries were the parties of the “new right.” Citizens increased its seats from seven to 21, while Vox, an explicitly Francoite party, won 12 seats and almost 11 percent of the vote compared to zero seats and 0.46 percent in 2015.

Vox will be the kingmaker in the formation of a new right-wing administration and will have huge influence, whether it is a coalition partner or supports a minority PP-Citizens government in a supply and confidence arrangement. PP leader Pablo Casado declared, “Whether it is an investiture agreement, a parliamentary agreement or a coalition government, we will have to first discuss with Citizens and Vox.” Citizens leader Albert Rivera warned the PSOE that if it keeps clinging onto power and refuses to accept a minority Citizens-PP government, he would have to make an agreement with Vox as a “last resort.”

The Andalusian result does not indicate a groundswell of support for right-wing policies. Citizens and Vox benefited rather from a transfer of votes away from the PP by the wealthier layers of the middle class. The Guardian noted that in the prosperous neighbourhood of Los Remedios, the PP’s share of the vote fell in three years from 61 percent to 37.2 percent, while Vox’s rose from 3.2 percent to 24.7 percent. …

The PP was in power from 2015, but without a majority—forcing a second inconclusive snap election one year later—with the PP only able to form a government because the PSOE abstained. In 2017, the PP provoked a major confrontation with Catalan separatists, ordering a brutal police crackdown on the independence referendum and invoking Article 155 of the Spanish constitution to suspend Catalonia’s elected government, lock up its ministers and charge them with rebellion and sedition.

Substantial public opposition and the PP’s own weakness forced a retreat from the turn to all-out state repression demanded by Citizens and Vox—both of which are now challenging the PP for leadership of the rightist constituency within the population and the military and state apparatus. …

The PSOE could not save the PP’s skin indefinitely, and on June 1 a no confidence motion passed the national legislature against Rajoy, by this time mired in corruption scandals. The fall of the PP government led to the formation of a PSOE minority government under Pedro Sanchez with the backing of Podemos and the Catalan and Basque nationalist parties.

Once in power, the PSOE and its backers again worked to hand the initiative back to the right-wing. Sanchez betrayed his pledge to implement an anti-austerity budget, drawn up in alliance with Podemos on the eve of the elections in Andalusia, and agreed to implement the budget drawn up by the PP.

The bourgeoisie used this situation to raise the profile of Vox. In the space of three weeks leading up to the Andalusian elections, Spain’s traditional conservative newspaper ABC posted 18 articles, El Mundo over 20 and El Español 26 pieces—at least one a day. This legitimisation of Vox continues. Last week, media chiefs ordered their newsrooms to stop labeling Vox “ultra-right” and “extreme right” and to stop using the word antifascist when describing anti-Vox protests.

The promotion of Vox and similar parties across Europe and internationally, including the Alternative for Germany in Germany and National Rally (formerly National Front) in France, is the spearhead of a broader offensive against the working class in which far-right forces are being rehabilitated and police-state measures introduced.

Particularly since the 2008 financial crash, bourgeois democracy in Europe has begun to disintegrate amid rising social inequality and class and international tensions. This collapse of democratic forms of rule was symbolized by the European Union’s consistent support for Madrid’s crackdown last year in Catalonia. …

Forty years after the Francoite regime collapsed amid mass struggles of the working class, there is deep opposition among workers in Spain and across Europe to a return to fascism.

The bloody 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War and the victory of Franco’s fascist regime with military aid from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy are not forgotten. The Andalusian result prompted demonstrations of thousands of youth chanting, “VOX, listen, we are ready to fight”, “Franco has not died, he is in Parliament” and “Andalusia is no place for fascism.” Protests also took place in Catalonia, which were attacked by … police.

This takes place under conditions … with a series of strikes erupting across Spain in transport, retail, the postal service and in public health care, social services and education. Last month hundreds of thousands of workers and students participated in demonstrations and strikes in Catalonia demanding the budget cuts imposed by the regional government be reversed.

This reflects a radicalisation of the working class epitomised in the Yellow Vest protests against the Macron government in France.

The critical question is to provide the working class with the programmatic and organisational means through which to fight back against the ruling elite, its parties and its state apparatus. After a decade of austerity policies, with tens of millions unemployed, there is explosive social and political anger across the continent.

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Franco dictatorship in Spain, new film


This 6 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“The Silence of Others”: New Film Warns Against Spain’s Fascist History Repeating Itself

A far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion political party in Spain has made gains in regional elections, prompting protests in the streets.

Members of Spain’s younger generation are too young to remember the brutal 40-year military dictatorship under General Francisco Franco. But a remarkable new documentary titled “The Silence of Others”, or “El Silencio de Otros”, hopes to remind Spaniards of the country’s fascist past, lest history repeat itself. The film follows several survivors of the Franco regime in their pursuit of justice. We speak with Spanish filmmaker Almudena Carracedo, who, along with Robert Bahar, wrote, produced and directed “The Silence of Others.”

Spanish ‘center’ right-neofascist collusion?


This 16 July 2018 video shows Spanish neofascists doing the nazi salute and singing songs from the age of General Franco near that dictator’s mausoleum. They are protesting against plans of the new Spanish social democrat government to remove Franco‘s body from that mausoleum.

By Paul Mitchell:

Fascist Vox party makes substantial gains in Andalusia elections

4 December 2018

The results of the regional election in Andalusia herald the open return of fascism to Spanish politics, 43 years after the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975 and the transition to democracy.

The Vox party, which only decided to stand candidates at the last minute, won 12 seats in the 108-seat Andalusian parliament and almost 11 percent of the vote compared to zero seats and 0.46 percent in 2015.

It is highly likely that the party will enter the regional government in the role of kingmaker, as it holds the key to forming a new coalition administration with the right-wing Popular Party (PP) and Citizens party.

These are both officially ‘center’ right parties. However, like in some other countries, there is sometimes a blurring of lines between the ‘center’ right and the fascist extreme right.

The PP candidate for regional president, Juan Manuel Moreno, and for Citizens, Juan Marín, are already talking about forming a government that includes Vox.

The head of the National Rally (formerly the National Front) in France, Marine Le Pen, tweeted, “My warmest congratulations to our friends in Vox who tonight in Spain have obtained a very significant result for a young and dynamic movement.”

Vox was founded by Francoist members of the PP in 2013. Its policies include the suspension of Catalan regional autonomy, the banning of parties and other organisations that “promote the destruction of [Spanish] territorial unity and its sovereignty”, reversing limited measures relating to Franco’s crimes, closing mosques, bolstering the Catholic Church, lowering income and corporate tax, and deporting migrants.

It isn’t that there has been a groundswell of support for such reactionary policies—the huge abstention rate of almost 46 percent indicates the widespread opposition to all the official parties. Those who usually vote for the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidos Podemos … stayed home. The decline in participation, the lowest since 1990, was especially strong in PSOE working class heartlands, such as the provinces of Seville or Jaén and the Seville municipalities of Alcalá de Guadaíra or Dos Hermanas.

This political alienation is fuelled by desperate social hardship. Unemployment remains at 23 percent (eight points higher than the national average) with youth unemployment at a staggering 47.3 percent (versus the national average of 34.7 percent). The risk of poverty and social exclusion in Andalusia is 37.3 percent, affecting more than 3.1 million people. Nearly 10 percent of the population are “severely” poor, which means that more than 1 million Andalusians survive on less than €300 per month.

Vox leader Santiago Abascal said the party’s surprise result had shaken the PSOE, which has ruled the region for decades and provided an “opportunity to evict communism and corruption from Andalusia.”

“The Reconquista begins in Andalusia and will be extended to the rest of Spain”, the party tweeted.

Although the PP suffered its second-worst ever drop in votes—26 seats, down from 33—it declared, “We are euphoric. This is historic.” Party leaders were not only jubilant that the ”sorpasso” (overtaking) threatened by Ciudadanos—up from 9 to 21—had not materialised and the PP has the possibility of being in power in Andalusia. They welcomed the gains made by Vox.

“The monopoly of a single party has ended, I am going to immediately start working and speaking with all the forces and groups with the aim of reaching an alternative majority to the PSOE”, Moreno insisted.

Marín declared, “Change has arrived in Andalusia. … There are enough deputies to force a change.” The party’s national leader, Albert Rivera, said, “We are going to throw the PSOE out. …”

After 36 years of uninterrupted rule in the region, the PSOE has suffered its worst-ever defeat. It remains the biggest party, keeping hold of 33 seats and 28 percent of the vote, but slumped from 47 seats and 35.4 percent of the vote. PSOE regional chief Susana Díaz brought forward elections scheduled for next March to last Sunday, believing polls that indicated an easy win for the PSOE. Instead, the PSOE’s 33 seats, combined with the 17 of the Unidos Podemos electoral front Adelanta Andalucía, also down from 20 seats, is short of an absolute majority of 55 seats.

The dramatic drop in support for the PSOE … comes just six months after PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez deposed Mariano Rajoy and his PP government, which the PSOE had kept in power. In a no-confidence motion backed by Unidos Podemos and regional nationalists, the PSOE came to power as a minority government. Soon after, polls began indicating a growth, by as much as 10 percent to 32 percent, in support for the PSOE thanks to its promises to end austerity and implement progressive social measures. PSOE officials not only confidentially spoke of winning in Andalusia. Sánchez also hinted he might call snap elections for May 2019.

The PSOE’s optimism was boosted after Sánchez announced a new budget for 2019, which promised to raise the minimum wage to €900 a month from €736, or 22 percent—the biggest hike in 40 years—and pledged increases in pensions, education spending, unemployment benefits, housing and paternity leave, and taxes on the rich.

Podemos, which has been seeking a lasting alliance with the PSOE, hailed this as proof of a left turn by Sanchez under its influence. However, just two weeks before the Andalusian election, Sánchez announced that he would not present the 2019 budget to parliament because of opposition from the Catalan nationalists—after state attorneys confirmed sedition charges against separatist leaders for declaring independence last year.

This was a de facto pledge to implement the 2018 austerity budget drafted by the Rajoy government and including massive cuts to public services.

Spanish neofascist murder attempt on prime minister


This 8 October 2018 video from La Vanguardia daily in Spain says about itself (translated):

The Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalonia region autonomous police] detained last September in Terrassa a lone wolf who wanted to assassinate [social democrat Prime Minister] Pedro Sánchez for the exhumation of the remains of [dictator Francisco] Franco from the Valley of the Fallen, which has not yet been carried out.

Manuel Murillo Sánchez was a security guard with a gun license and a 63-year-old expert sniper. This has been published exclusively by the Público newspaper and has been confirmed by La Vanguardia from police sources.

He had been around for years on the extreme right, but he had no criminal record, so it was difficult to control him. According to the newspaper, he was arrested after someone sounded the alarm. He had asked for help in a WhatsApp group to murder the prime minister. Specifically, he asked for information about the prime minister’s location and his agenda.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Outstanding sniper’ planned an attack on Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez

In Spain, a 63-year-old man was arrested who, according to the justice department, intended to attack [social democrat] Prime Minister Sánchez. That arrest happened already in September, but reports about it are only coming out now. According to Spanish media, the man wanted to repay the government’s decision to rebury former dictator Franco.

Against this decision there a strong protests by extreme right-wing supporters of the general. The suspect, Manuel Murillo Sánchez, a Catalan security guard with a gun license, was one of them. Because he has no criminal record, it was difficult to keep an eye on him. “He is described as a lone wolf, who was very motivated to kill Prime Minister Sánchez”, says correspondent Rop Zoutberg.

The guard’s plans came to light when he asked for advice in a WhatsApp group. He asked group members if they could look up for him what the Prime Minister’s agenda was because he could not handle the Internet well enough. He did not care that he could be caught. “I am willing to sacrifice myself for Spain”, he wrote.

“He talked about Sánchez as ‘the red motherfucker who has to be killed’, and that kind of messages never stopped and then someone from that group went to the police”, says Zoutberg.

According to daily La Vanguardia, Manuel Murillo Sánchez was arrested by the Mossos, the Catalan regional police, where there are some anti-Franco ideas. I don’t know if the Spanish national police which includes Franco sympathizers would have arrested the would-be murderer.

Armory

When officers searched the man’s house, they ran into a weapons arsenal. He possessed 16 weapons, including machine guns and sniper rifles. He had adjusted some of them himself. He turned out to be active at a shooting club and was known as an excellent sniper. Zoutberg: “You can wonder how far he was with his plans for the attack, but one thing is clear: he could really have done it.”

The man is in pre-trial detention. He is not prosecuted for terrorism,

No, in order to have been prosecuted for terrorism, he should have been black; or his name should have been not Manuel Murillo Sánchez, but Ali ben Muhammad or something.

but for conspiracy, the preparation of a hate crime and the possession and use of illegal weapons.

Spanish media promote neofascists


This 20 November 2016 video says about itself:

Spain: Violence as right-wing supporters commemorate 41 years since Franco’s death

Hundreds of right-wing supporters gathered at the Plaza de Oriente, Madrid, on Sunday to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the death of the dictator Francisco Franco. During the commemoration service, right wing supporters attacked a reported left wing protester who was taken away by the police.

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell:

Spanish media promotes far-right VOX party

6 November 2018

Spain’s far-right VOX party has been afforded massive media coverage since its rally last month of around 9,000 sympathizers at Madrid’s Vistalegre Palace.

In the space of three weeks, El Mundo has published over 20 articles covering Vox. Spain’s traditional conservative newspaper, ABC, which has backed every reactionary and right-wing regime in Spain since its foundation in 1903, posted 18 articles, favourable opinion pieces and an interview. La Razón has posted 11 articles. El Español has outdone them all, publishing 26 pieces since October 7—at least one a day.

VOX leaders took to the stage at Vistalegre to advocate 100 reactionary, anti-democratic measures. These include the suspension of Catalan regional autonomy, the banning of parties, associations and NGOs which “promote the destruction of [Spanish] territorial unity and its sovereignty”, the imposition of Spanish as the main language of instruction in schools and restrictions on the use of regional languages.

VOX wants to revoke the Historical Memory Law, which enforces limited measures relating to the crimes of the Franco dictatorship, close mosques, create a Family Ministry to promote the reactionary ideology of the Catholic Church, abolish the gender violence law, lower income and corporate tax, which will inevitably help the rich, and deport migrants.

Paraphrasing Trump, VOX General Secretary Ortega Smith demanded that “Spaniards come first”, adding, “Together we will make Spain great again.” Party President Santiago Abascal closed the rally, declaring, “A nation reacts when it has historical inertia, when there is blood coursing through its veins, and when it is aggravated, as Spain is being aggravated now.”

Since the Vistalegre rally, Abascal has been granted numerous interviews on Spain’s main radio and television programmes. He was even interviewed on “A diario”, a sports programme on Radio Marca, which doesn’t usually invite politicians.

VOX was launched in 2014 by former Popular Party (PP) members, the Terrorism Victims Association (AVT)—a hotbed of the Spanish far-right—and the Defence of the Spanish Nation foundation (DENAES). Most of VOX’s founding members come from families connected with the Franco dictatorship, the military, monarchy, big business and right-wing think tanks.

Six out of 10 people who say they would vote for VOX come from the PP and three from Citizens, a neo-liberal party which originated in Catalonia opposed to secession and became the largest party in the Catalan parliament in last December’s election. It is now at around 20-25 percent in polls for Spain’s next general elections (no later than July 2020), challenging the PP and Socialist Party (PSOE) for first place.

VOX is ratcheting up calls to defend the Spanish nation against Catalan and Basque nationalists, migrant workers … It has demanded a rewriting of Spain’s constitution and for regional autonomy and regional parliaments to be scrapped.

Vox has all the hallmarks of a fascist party, shown by its lambasting of the PP during the Catalan secessionist crisis, claiming it was “dithering” over its response. The PP’s “dithering”, supported by Citizens and the PSOE, was to take unprecedented police-state measures in Catalonia, before pulling back from a permanent police-military takeover of the region advocated by VOX.

The PP declared the October 2017 referendum illegal, suspended Catalan autonomy, sent in the paramilitary police to smash up polling stations and imprisoned Catalan ministers and officials on charges of sedition and rebellion. When independence was declared, VOX became the main promoter of the private legal court case launched against the secessionists. It demanded the maximum possible prison sentences for the imprisoned leaders.

VOX has no mass base. According to the latest polls by the state-funded CIS, the party would poll just 1.6 percent if Spanish national elections were called now and would be lucky to get one deputy in parliament. Even in polling for the European Union parliamentary elections next year, VOX … can only muster 5.1 percent of the vote.

During the Catalan crisis, it staged pro-Spanish unity demonstrations with just a few hundred people, often sporting swastikas and giving fascist salutes. Nevertheless, the party was hyped by the media as the representative of “concerned citizens.” The PP and Citizens are also claiming the party’s growth represents citizens “concerned” with migration and Catalan nationalism and are exploiting this to shift their own political agenda further to the right.

Last Sunday, in a provocative meeting organised by Citizens and backed by the PP and VOX in the small Navarrese town of Alsasua, which follows similar ones in Catalonia, the right-wing politicians called for the defence of the state security force and the unity of Spain against the Catalan and Basque nationalists. The meeting was held to honour state security forces in the town where a 2016 bar brawl resulted in the injuries of off-duty civil guards and their partners.

Attending the meeting was Abascal for VOX, along with the police association Jusapo , the Association of the Victims of Terrorism and the Catalan Civil Society. The promotion of VOX, as with similar formations in every country, is the spearhead of the drive by the ruling class towards censorship, state repression and fascistic methods to defend its rule.

There is deep, historically rooted opposition in the working class in Spain and internationally to fascism. However, to the extent that the working class remains subordinated to the PSOE … there is a real danger of VOX rising. In this, it is aided by the cowardice and complacency of the Socialist Party (PSOE) government.

Installed last June, the minority government, backed by … Podemos and regional nationalists, promised to end Rajoy’s austerity policies, boost public spending, end the expulsion of migrants, exhume the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco from his mausoleum and reach a negotiated settlement to the Catalan crisis. In practice, however, the PSOE imposed Rajoy’s austerity and militarist budget in June. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has made clear his readiness to abandon his limited spending increases in the 2019 budget, including a raise in the minimum wage, to get it through parliament.

The PSOE has continued the policy of mass expulsions of migrants who cross the border in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and coordinated raids on sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco, resulting in the arrest of thousands, banished to distant parts of the country, or expelled.

Last Thursday the government-controlled state attorney announced it would formally charge the Catalan secessionists with sedition, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years. This is meant to be lenient compared to the 30 years of rebellion charges written up by the Public Prosecutors Office.

Such policies of accommodation to the right strengthen and embolden political forces like VOX.

Hackers reveal British government’s interference in Spanish politics: here.