Spanish fascist Vox party, towards military dictatorship


This 2015 Associated Press video from Spain says about itself:

Fascists gather to commemorate hardline civil war leader

1. Pan right of demonstrators in square giving fascist salute; UPSOUND Spanish National Anthem
2. Men and women giving fascist salute
3. Demonstrators from town of Santander
4. Woman singing fascist song
5. Demonstrators waving Spanish pre-Constitutional flags
6. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) demonstrator, no name given, Vox …: “I think it is a moment for people, especially young people, to come out and defend some principles and interests to find a solution to what is happening in Spain at this time.”
7. Man giving fascist salute
8. Old woman giving fascist salute
9. Tilt down on woman holding photo of dictator General Francisco Franco
10. Leaders of far right organisations saluting
11. Leader of far right party Fuerza Nueva (New Force) Blas Pinar speaking on podium
12. Wide of demonstrators listening
13. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Miguel Menedez Pinar, Pinar’s grandson: “A prohibition of an event like this crashes with the freedom of speech that this system, which I don’t believe in, claims to protect. I will come here year after year and I will go to the Valley of the Fallen because they are a church and a basilica and because you cannot stop a Mass for the souls of the dead of not just Franco or Jose Antonio but all the dead from both sides who fell during the Civil War and Crusade.”
14. Old couple listening to speeches
15. Italian fascist flag
16. Pan right of demonstration

STORYLINE:

Hundreds of demonstrators nostalgic for Spain’s bygone right-wing past gathered on Sunday to commemorate a hard-line civil war leader among tensions after clashes between politically opposed gangs left one person dead, dozens injured and several detained. The rally, held in Madrid’s Plaza de Oriente square next to the former royal palace in the capital’s old quarter, was in remembrance of the killing of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1936 by leftist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

Tensions were running high after left-wing demonstrators had gathered on Friday in many Spanish cities to protest the death of a teenager stabbed to death by a right-wing activist on November 11. While protests in Madrid and Zaragoza took place peacefully, one in the northern port city of Barcelona led to clashes …

Primo de Rivera founded the Falange, the political movement linked with dictator General Francisco Franco’s regime, which held onto power from 1939 to 1975, following victory in the civil war.

Blas Pinar … hailed the memory of Primo de Rivera and Franco and called the civil war a glorious crusade against communism and atheism. His grandson, Miguel Menendez Pinar, also attended the demonstration. … Among right wing banners and flags an Italian flag from the Benito Mussolini era could be seen waving in the crowd. Chants praising Franco and Mussolini were heard several times as many of those at the rally gave the stiff-arm fascist salute.

Some demonstrators had walked to the Valley of the Fallen, a massive monument housing the tombs of Franco and Primo de Rivera 54 kilometres (34 miles) northwest of Madrid.

By Alejandro López in Spain:

Spain’s fascist Vox party enlists former generals, calls for banning Marxist parties

25 March 2019

This week, the deputy secretary of international relations of the Spanish far-right party Vox, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, declared that the “ultraleft and [Catalan and Basque] nationalism are the enemies of Spain” and that “between us all we have to finish them off.” He said that Vox would propose outlawing parties that “don’t believe in the unity of Spain and those who don’t renounce Marxism.”

Vox has signed up five former generals to run in the April 28 general elections. Two have publicly defended the legacy of fascist dictator Francisco Franco.

Vox’s policies are openly anti-democratic and reactionary. They include suspending all regional governments, reversing limited measures that sought to address Franco’s crimes, closing mosques, bolstering the Catholic Church, lowering income and corporate tax, and deporting migrants.

Former Navy General Agustin Rosety Fernandez de Castro will head the Vox list in the southern province of Cadiz. Rosety, who served the Spanish army for 40 years under Popular Party (PP) and Socialist Party (PSOE) administrations as Chief of Special Operations, head of the Ministry of Defence’s top body—the General Directorate of Defence Policy—has revealed his true colours.

So too has former General of Division Alberto Asarta who will stand in Castellon. He is the author of the current Spanish Air Force military doctrine and has taken part in Spanish imperialist wars and interventions, leading the Multinational Brigade Plus Ultra II

Plus Ultra was the slogan of 16th century Spanish King Charles V, indicating that the military power of the Spanish empire was not limited to Europe.

in Iraq and UNIFIL in Lebanon.

Both Rosety and Asarta signed last year’s pro-fascist manifesto “Declaration of Respect to General Francisco Franco Bahamonde, Soldier of Spain”, along with 670 other top current and retired officers. Published in the pro-Francoite Asociación de Militares Españoles (AME-Association of Spanish Soldiers), it proclaimed Franco, who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of workers during the Spanish Civil War and founded a 40-year fascist dictatorship, to be the saviour of Spain.

Rosety and Asarta will be joined by former Air Force General Manuel Mestre Barea, who fought in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq and will stand in Alicante. Former General Fulgencio Coll, who will be the candidate for mayor for Palma de Mallorca, was chief of staff of the Spanish Army between 2008 and 2012. General Antonio Budiño Carballo, who oversaw operations in Croatia, Albania and Iraq, will stand in Pontevedra.

The decision of top Spanish officers to hail fascist crimes, join Vox, and run for parliament is a warning to workers in Spain and beyond. As the French army threatens to shoot “yellow vest” protesters, the financial aristocracy everywhere is moving towards fascistic military-police regimes.

This lays bare the claim that the Spanish army was “democratised” after the fall of the Francoite regime. Rather, in line with events across Europe, the transition to bourgeois democracy under the slogan of “forgive and forget” covered up the crimes of the fascists, allowed them to continue their careers unhindered and incubate their successors. The state is deliberately building up the Vox party. It was created by former hard-line PP politicians, appealing directly to the military, the judiciary and the police.

These forces exploited the Catalan nationalists’ calling of an independence referendum to shift the political atmosphere far to the right and legitimize the building of an openly pro-fascist party.

Polls show that Vox does not draw support from the working class. Most if its voters are former PP supporters and middle-class layers earning over €2,000 a month. Only 13 percent of Spanish citizens earn this amount.

Last December, after massive media promotion, the party came from virtually nowhere to win 12 seats in the 108-seat Andalusian parliament and almost 11 percent of the vote. It then became the kingmaker, deciding to back a right-wing Citizens-PP coalition government in the region.

Vox could again be in a position to broker a right-wing government after the national elections in April. According to the latest polls, the party could win 10.3 percent of the vote, or 20 to 23 seats in the 350-seat parliament. Combined with the PP and Citizens the right wing could end up with at least 176 seats—a slim majority over the PSOE and Unidos Podemos.

Espinosa de los Monteros’ threat to ban Marxist parties is also a warning. …

A comment on this article says:

The sheer irony of Vox simultaneously celebrating Franco and promoting Islamophobia is that it was Franco who brought the Moorish soldiers into Asturia that the Umayyad conquerors could not conquer 12 centuries prior. I brought this hard fact once to an Islamophobe singing praises for a Francoist demo in Spain and his hysterical response was hilarious.

Lesbian kiss in front of Vox campaigners in Valladolid goes viral: here.

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Manuel Valls, from French ‘socialist’ to Spanish fascists’ ally


This 11 February 2018 video, in the French language, shows a right-wing demonstration in Madrid, Spain, aiming to overthrow the social democrat PSOE minority government of Pedro Sanchez. The video interviews Manuel Valls, ex-Prime Minister of France; now a politician of the neoliberal right-wing Spanish Ciudadanos party.

That demonstration was organised by a coalition of three parties: Valls’ Ciudadanos; the Partido Popular, founded by ex-ministers of the Franco dictatorship, calling itself ‘Christian Democrat’; and the Franco fascism supporters of Vox. These same three parties have formed a coalition to govern the Andalusia region.

By Alex Lantier in France, 21 February 2019:

Thus [French Socialist Party] PS [former] Prime Minister Manuel Valls attended a rally in Madrid of the Spanish right-wing parties including the new fascist party, Vox. This demonstration aimed to install a right-wing coalition government that would include Vox—a party that defends the record of fascist dictator Francisco Franco’s army during the civil war, that is, the use of mass murder against left-wing workers.

Who exactly is Valls? Wikipedia describes him as belonging originally to the Blairite right wing of the French Socialist party.

As Minister of the Interior, he became infamous for anti-Roma racism. From 2014-2016, he was Prime Minister.

Then, he tried to become Socialist Party presidential candidate. However, he lost the primary unexpectedly to more left-wing and far less known Hamon.

Valls then promised to support Hamon’s candidacy. However, he broke that promise, supporting instead Big Business candidate Macron.

The Socialist Party said they might expel him. Valls then tried to become a Macron party politician. They did not want him.

Valls’ second wife divorced him. Valls burned his bridges to France and moved to Spain and the Ciudadanos party.

If I would be Ciudadanos, then I would be wary about Valls causing conflicts in the party, and maybe departing under a cloud, to join: the Partido Popular? Or Vox?

Spanish Francoist neofascists VOX and their opponents


This 4 December 2018 video from Spain says about itself:

Thousands of demonstrators swept through Seville on Monday night after the far-right Vox party won 12 seats in regional elections. Protesters forced their way inside the city’s university before marching on the official seat of the Andalusian government. A number of spontaneous demonstrations have been held in key cities across the region, including Granada and Malaga.

On 19 January 2019, Dutch daily NRC published a report by Koen Greven on Spanish extreme right party VOX. Its title is, translated, ‘Right-wing machos fight leftist achievements‘.

The article says VOX is based on nostalgia for the (Franco dictatorship) past. Translated:

A Spain where abortion was illegal, no gay marriages took place, bullfighting was not questioned, migrants played no significant role and the Catalans were oppressed.

Greven interviewed political science professor Fernando Vallespín of the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. According to Vallespín, VOX differs from some xenophobic parties in other European countries as they are not anti-European Union at all.

VOX in Andalusia say they will continue to demand deportation of 50,000 immigrants from the region.

In recent weeks, the anti-immigration party, also opposed to feminism, has been massively protested against in virtually all major cities. The party refuses to endorse a widely supported pact on combating domestic violence and sexual aggression against women. In Seville, the capital of Andalusia, last Tuesday a crowd of angry women tried in vain to prevent the parliamentarians of Vox from being appointed. They waved banners and called for the departure of “the fascists of Vox“.

The women are afraid that the right to abortion or gay marriage will be threatened again. “We do not want those Vox fascists in our parliament. they want to take away the rights that we have fought for for years”, says Victoria Bautista from the coastal city Cádiz, in front of the parliament building. “LGBTQ people would no longer be able to marry. Migrants would be deported. Women will become outlawed. We live in the 21st century. We will not take a step back. I will always be a socialist and will keep fighting for a better Spain!”

A group of retired socialists, who play bowls in front of Sevilla’s Santa Justa station, attributes part of the rise of Vox to the socialist PSOE. “The last time I did not vote”, Francisco Ortiz admits. The man next to him nods. He did not either. Ortiz: “The socialists have ruled for forty years in Andalusia. That is not good. Then you will get used to power. … Do not get me wrong: Vox is nothing for us at all.”

“We are going to make Spain great again“, says the slogan of Vox party leader Abascal. In a campaign film he drives gallop across an empty prairie. Accompanying text: ‘The Reconquista starts in Andalusia’.

The Reconquista were medieval wars, resulting in the kiling or expulsion of all Muslims and Jews from Spain.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people joined a protest called by Spain’s main right-wing parties in Madrid’s Plaza de Colon. The Popular Party (PP), Citizens, and the far-right Vox party had chartered hundreds of buses to bring right-wing supporters from across Spain, calling to “throw out” social-democratic Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez over his talks with the Catalan nationalists. Between 20,000 and 45,000 people attended the protest, listening to speeches from right-wing politicians. Also participating were groups like the neo-Nazi Hogar Social (Social Home); the Spanish Falange; España 2000; and Spain’s main police union, the United Police Union. The role of this last organisation underscores the critical role of the state machine in promoting the protest and the broader rise of neo-fascistic, anti-Catalan agitation: here.

Yesterday, after the show trial of Catalan nationalists began in Madrid, Catalan nationalist legislators declined to support the minority Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) government’s budget. PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s budget failed by 191-158. After meeting with his council of ministers on Friday, he is expected to call elections this spring: here.

Rubens sketch discovered


Newly discovered sketch by Rubens, photo Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Sketch by Peter Paul Rubens discovered

Six people look upwards in worship. They stand between two pillars and in the background an angel looks down on them. An oil sketch with this image that was for sale last year at an art shop in The Hague appears to have been painted by the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640).

Art historian Emilie den Tonkelaar, working for art dealer Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, first saw the canvas and soon thought that it might be a Rubens. “First and foremost because of the details, we see an incredible expertise in them. But an infrared photograph made by the owner was decisive. Under the painting the word adorans can be read, which means worshipping. Rubens often wrote on a panel the subject of his sketch, so he knew which image it would be.”

The work has been given the name The secular hierarchy in worship. Rubens painted it as a design for a tapestry series he made at the beginning of the 17th century for a Franciscan monastery in Madrid. That is why we do not see where the people so full of worship look at: that is visible on another work. They look at a monstrance, a holder in which a host is exhibited.

The people in the painting are the political protagonists of that time: Emperor Ferdinand II [of the Holy Roman Empire], King Philip IV [of Spain], his wife Elisabeth of France and the sponsor of this series of tapestries, Isabella of Spain.

Biggest project

The tapestry series, Triumph of the Eucharist, according to Rubens expert Friso Lammertse belongs to the most beautiful works of the painter’s oeuvre. “It was one of the biggest projects in the life of Rubens.” Of the series of twenty tapestries, up to now 17 oil sketches were known. The newly discovered sketch is number eighteen. The tapestry series is still visible in the monastery.

Where the canvas has been for all these years before the current owner bought it is not known. “We know that Rubens found these sketches so important that he kept them until his death”, says Den Tonkelaar. “So what has happened after that, we do not know. But that this is happening is incredibly rare, really very special.”

The sketch is not in good condition. It is partially overpainted. … “What we are going to do first is to contact the owner to discuss what he wants to do with it”, says Den Tonkelaar. “At least we will have to think about a realistic value for insurance.”

The newly discovered Rubens sketch

Meanwhile, the Dutch royal family intends to sell a drawing by Rubens at Sotheby’s. Instead of offering it to a Dutch, or Flemish, museum, for a reasonable prize, this masterpiece may now end up in a private collection where the public won’t be able to see it and experts won’t be able to study it.

‘Center’ right-neofascist right coalition in Spain


This 2000 Associated Press video says about itself:

Anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with police in the Spanish capital, Madrid, on Sunday as the country commemorated the 25th anniversary of death of fascist dictator General Franco.

Police baton charged around 2000 protesters in the centre of the city. Elsewhere in Madrid, neo-fascist supporters of the former leader gathered to commemorate the anniversary.

Sunday’s activities followed a remembrance ceremony by some five thousand people the previous night at a Mass at the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen). Franco – who died on November 20, 1975 – had the mausoleum sculpted out of a mountain side near Madrid for his burial place.

Franco became western Europe’s longest reigning dictator this century, ruling Spain with an iron fist after unleashing one of the continent’s bitterest civil wars. But 25 years after his death, the few thousand who joined the memorial ceremonies were further testimony that the vast majority of Spaniards have no desire to cherish his memory.

By Alejandro López in Spain:

Spain’s far-right Vox party backs right-wing coalition government in Andalusia

14 January 2019

The far-right Vox party has agreed to back the bid of the right-wing

sometimes called euphemistically ‘center right‘ or ‘moderate right’

Popular Party (PP) and Citizens (Cs) to rule Andalusia, the second-largest and most populous region in Spain. This marks the first time a far-right party promoting the legacy of fascist dictator Francisco Franco has helped form a government in Spain since the Francoite dictatorship fell 40 years ago. The deal is poised to end 36 years of uninterrupted Socialist Party (PSOE) rule in the region and sets a precedent for a possible national coalition government between PP, Citizens and Vox.

PP’s Manuel Moreno is to become the new regional premier, despite having obtained the PP’s worst-ever electoral results in the region. An investiture debate is scheduled for this week.

Last week, Vox agreed to support a PP-Cs government—dropping its calls to expel 52,000 migrants, repeal of laws on gender violence and gender equality, and scrap LGBT anti-discrimination policies. After obtaining widespread media coverage based on these demands, Vox then renounced them. Its leader, Santiago Abascal, had committed the party to an alliance with the PP and Cs soon after the elections, stressing that Vox would not be “an obstacle to political change in Andalusia.”

Other points in Vox’s 100-issue manifesto included abolishing the 17 regions to recentralize Spain as under Franco, outlawing separatist parties, slashing taxes, and banning undocumented migrants.

Right-wing newspapers welcomed the deal. El Español cheered Vox’s “exercise of pragmatism”, and El Mundo defined the agreement as reflecting Vox’s “wisdom of consensus”. The ultra-Catholic La Razón rejoiced that Vox “has renounced their most extreme demands.”

The government programme combines the promotion of the legacy of Francisco Franco, the fascist butcher of the Spanish Civil War, the defense of the wealth of the financial aristocracy, and appeals to nationalism and anti-Muslim hatred. It includes a “concord law” to replace the region’s Historical Memory Law, which condemns Franco’s regime and allows for exhumations of the remains of victims of the fascists in the Civil War.

The agreement is an unabashed defense of the banks’ austerity diktat. It calls for slashing income tax, estate tax and inheritance tax. The estate tax is only paid by 17,700 people (0.2 percent of the population), while inheritance tax is only paid by those inheriting over 1 million euros. The indebted region will thereby reduce its income, providing a pretext for even more social cuts. The regional government will audit its expenditure to cut “superfluous” spending, eliminate subsidies that do “not meet obvious public and social purposes” and de-fund the public media.

The agreement also opens the door to attacks on public education, asserting “freedom and the right of parents to choose the model they wish for their children, avoiding any interference by public authorities in the ideological formation of students.”

Appealing to the ultra-Catholic sections of the population, the agreement calls for tax incentives to families to drive up the birth rate, the creation of a Family Ministry and forcing women with unwanted pregnancies to receive “extra information” to dissuade them from having abortions. It calls for promoting flamenco and Holy Week celebrations, protecting bullfighting as “a source of wealth and jobs”. and changing Andalusia’s regional day to commemorate the end of the Christian reconquest of Spain, and the start of the expulsion of Muslims and Jews, in 1492.

The agreement calls for a mass crackdown on immigrants, calling on the State Security Forces to “protect borders, guaranteeing an orderly, legal immigration, respectful of our western culture.”

The PSOE received its worst-ever result of 28 per cent after slashing education, health and social spending at the national and regional levels. After its 36-year rule, and the worst capitalist crisis since the 1930s, over a quarter of Andalusia’s population is unemployed; tens of thousands depend on the Minimum Social Rent subsidy of €400. Nearly 42 percent of Andalusians live at risk of social exclusion.

In the six months of PSOE Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s rule from Madrid, the government has continued the austerity and militarist policies of its PP predecessor and its repression of Catalan nationalist political prisoners.

The PSOE has reacted to Vox’s victory by shifting further to the right. PSOE regional candidate Susana Díaz blamed her defeat on the lack of Catalan-bashing during her campaign. PSOE regional premier of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, raised the prospect of banning all secessionist parties.

The speed with which the PP and Cs have moved towards incorporating the fascist programme of Vox is a warning to workers and youth across Spain and Europe. The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, has already said that the agreement in Andalusia is a “preamble of what will happen in May in Spain”, referring to local and regional elections.

Vox’s fascistic programme does not enjoy mass support. Like other far-right parties in Europe, Vox is acquiring influence far beyond its actual strength, based on support not in the population, but in the ruling class, the army, and other capitalist parties.

It was founded in December 2013 by ex-PP members who wanted the PP government to take a harder line for pro-business tax policies and against Basque and Catalan nationalists and migration. They contested the 2014 elections but failed to win seats. Today most Vox voters are rich or upper middle class former PP voters.

The Spanish ruling class used the Catalan crisis of October 2017 to catapult Vox to prominence. A marginal party until the fall of 2017, it received widespread coverage based on its extreme anti-Catalan rhetoric and demonstrations. It only obtained 395,978 votes in Andalusia (10.97 percent), four mayors out of 8,122, 17 town councilors out of 67,611 and 12 seats in the Andalusian parliament out of 109. Nevertheless, it has set the tone since the Andalusian elections, as the ruling elite in Spain—as across Europe—tries to channel growing political discontent in a fascistic direction.

… Podemos number two Irene Montero called on women to “fill the streets and ballots” to stop Vox.

Spanish neo-fascists love Franco, sexism, bullfighting


This 23 November 2014 video says about itself:

Spain: Watch Nazi-saluting supporters celebrate General Franco [at] 39th anniversary [of his death]

W/S Far-right activists doing Nazi salute
M/S Far-right activists doing Nazi salute
C/U Swastika
M/S Spanish flag
W/S Stand selling Spanish flags
SOT, Miguel Menendez Pinar, grandson of [Franco era fascist MP] Blas Piñar (in Spanish):

“It has been the [‘center right’ Partido Popular] PP who has ended with the right of the workers, a conquest achieved by Franquismo”
C/U Supporters clapping and chanting Blas Piñar
W/S Priest chatting to elderly man
C/U Priest chatting to group of people
M/S Protest sign reading (in Spanish) “Right to decide – [Catalan independist] Artur Mas is a son of a whore? yes, yes, yes”
SOT Manuel Canduela, Democracia Nacional leader (in Spanish):

“The communism of Podemos is the salvation of Spain, the salvation of Spain is a man whose name is Pablo Iglesias (Iglesias means church[es] in Spanish) but his name must be Pablo burn Iglesias”

M/S Audience listening to Canduela speak [CUTAWAY]
M/S Journalist filming the speech [CUTAWAY]
W/S Man waving [Mussolini‘s] Italian Social Republic flag
W/S Police M/S Police van
W/S Rally held, Royal Palace of Madrid in the background [CUTAWAY]

SCRIPT Around 300 far-right activists gathered on Orient Square in Central Madrid to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the death of General Franco, Sunday. The Spanish leader lost his life on November 20, 1975.

Organised by several far-right political parties and nationalist organisations including Nudo Patriota Español, Movimiento Católico Español and Patriotas, the event also marked the anniversary of the death of Jose Primo de Rivera, the founder of [fascist party] Falange Española who was executed by the Spanish republican government on November 20, 1936.

During the rally, officials from the different parties gave speeches about the current situation in the country, targeting the rise of leftist political party Podemos as a cause for of concern. Swastikas and other fascist symbolism were on display, including one attendee waving the flag of the Italian Social Republic [of Mussolini].

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The new far-right Spanish party Vox demands the expulsion of 52,000 [so-called] illegal immigrants from Andalusia. Vox is willing to support a new center-right government in this state only if this happens.

Vox … participated in elections for the first time in December and received, to everyone’s surprise, ten percent of the votes= in Andalusia, in the south of Spain. As a result, the anti-immigration party holds the key of the new regional government in their hands. The center-right Partido Popular and the liberal

rather: neoliberal right-wing, anti-Catalan nationalist

Ciudadanos have already decided to cooperate, but they can not manage to form a government without Vox’s tolerance.

Deportation

The expulsion of 52,000 [so-called] illegal immigrants is a prominent point on the list of conditions of Vox. In addition, the party wants to abolish subsidies for Islamic centers and associations, feminist organizations and other ‘ideological’ NGOs.

There must also be more [so-called] help to pregnant women to stop them from having abortions, and there must be a revision of biology lessons in schools so that they do not teach ‘scientifically unproven things’.

Meaning evolution biology.

A number of local laws can also be abolished as far as the party is concerned. This includes a law that recognizes the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. The party also demands that a law on the Franco past should disappear, a law allowing excavations of victims of the dictatorship.

Bullfighting

Vox further suggests that there should be a new holiday to celebrate the Reconquista (the [medieval] reconquest of Spain from the Moors). A new law must also be adopted to protect bullfighting.

Today, representatives of Vox and the PP met at a secret location in Madrid, with the aim of completing the agreement for a new government in Andalusia.