Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain’s national-conservative VOX party, has taken a not-so-subtle swipe at the establishment Partido Popular (PP), accusing the party—which itself claims to be conservative—of very much resembling the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), only on a timeline that’s ten years behind.
While delivering a barrage of fiery comments on Sunday, February 12th, in the Murcia bullring where over 10,000 patriotic Spaniards were gathered, the VOX president told supporters that the problem with PP—the party which he left in 2014 to form VOX—is “that it has run out of credit, it only has debts with the Spanish, which it has been accumulating in recent years,” the Madrid-based newspaper El Pais reports.
The PP, Abascal continued, is “the PSOE with 10 years of a delay,” adding, “I celebrate that there is no longer a cowardly Right. Now they are directly a center-left party.”
“VOX is going to gather, once again, all those natural consensuses and build a great coalition of honest Spanish workers against the great coalition of those who release … pedophiles along with those who do nothing but wait to inherit,” declared Abascal.
The exceptionally sharp criticism leveled against PP came as VOX presented the candidates it is fielding for the municipal and regional elections set to take place on May 29th, when Spaniards will go to the polls to elect councilors in the country’s municipalities and all 1,038 seats in 38 provincial councils. Local elections will be held alongside regional elections in twelve autonomous communities and other areas such as the Basque Country, Balearic Islands, and the Canary Islands.
According to a report from El Mundo, Abascal’s choice words for his former party likely comes, at least in part, in response to VOX’s proposed motion of no-confidence against the ruling left-liberal coalition government, led by PSOE, which it has been urging Partido Popular to support without success.
“There has been enough of these shenanigans,” Abascal continued before he added, “it’s lip service, they don’t dare to speak clearly,” referencing the lukewarm positions Partido Popular has taken on issues like abortion, gender violence legislation, the so-called climate emergency, and others.
“There has not been a single [ideological] flag that they have not thrown to the ground,” the VOX leader added.
In another less-than-subtle reference to Partido Popular, Abascal stated:
In the face of the worst, some do nothing, while VOX, with successes and mistakes, tries everything. They can reproach us that we have made mistakes but no one can tell us that we have been standing idly by. Some are annoyed that VOX tries everything because they do nothing. They want to be the heirs of the PSOE and change one [expletive] for another but the heads remain the same.
The VOX chief also assailed Spain’s mainstream press, accusing “all of the media, almost without exception, Left and Right” of manipulating narratives and slandering his party in an attempt to destroy it, either because “they hate it” or because “they cannot control it or direct it.”
“We will arrive [to the government] without [the mainstream press] and we will arrive against them, if necessary, as we have done up until now,” Abascal asserted.