Publisher | PP-Vox: a toxic pact

early elections in Castile and Leon they opened Pandora’s box in the PP. The movement that should be the accelerator of the cycle of change in the Spanish right has taken the leadership of Paul Married and culminated this Thursday with a decision of high political risk: the regional president, Alfonso Fernandez Manuecoannounced an investiture agreement with Vox by which the party of Santiago Abascal obtains the vice-presidency, three of the 10 ministries and the presidency of the Cortes. The PP thus goes from governing with Cs, who had the vice presidency, to legitimize the presence of the extreme right in the executive power and at the head of the legislative power of Castilla y León.

This decision, which transcends the regional sphere and has already been lamented by European conservatives, marks Vox’s entry into a government for the first time and occurs the day after Alberto Núñez Feijóo presented 55,000 guarantees to formalize his candidacy for succession of Pablo Casado in the extraordinary congress of the PP. The Galician president, who had opened a door to the hope that the PP would reinforce its political centrality as the first opposition party and alternative government, he just put his own profile in crisis even before his election. The fact that the PSOE has not helped with his abstention -it conditioned it to a “sanitary cordon” to Vox and to the breaking of the agreements with the extreme right at the local and regional level- makes part of the responsibility fall on the socialists. But it does not exempt from responsibility this autonomous decision endorsed by Feijóo.

The Galician baron of the PP may not have calculated the scope of the pact with Vox in Castilla y León: not only does it contaminate its policy of alliances in Spain, but it distances it from the behavior of its European partners against the extreme right. It is a decision that collides with the “democratic cordon” strategy -a tighter expression than that of “cordon sanitaire”- practiced by the European central democracies, Germany and France, to block the way for governments to those parties that, like Vox, undermine democratic values: they frivolize gender violence, criminalize minors for their country of origin, encourage homophobia, as is the paradigmatic case of its leader in Castilla and León, Juan García-Gallardo, or trying to put an end to the State of the autonomies, in one of whose governments they are now preparing to enter.

Spanish democracy, as the Constitutional Court has recalled, is a “non-militant democracy”, that is, it accepts those forces that question the constitutional order itself. From this point of view, fixing the “democratic cordon” against Vox, which has now been broken in Castilla y León, does not mean excluding that party from the elections, but rather that the forces that consider themselves democratic prevent it from entering government institutions because represents a threat to democracy itself. But now it will do so with the endorsement of the PP.

It is to be hoped that the pragmatism that the Galician president has displayed in his long political career will allow him to limit the pact with Vox to Castilla y León. but once crossed a red line that until now it had been preferred not to exceed in Andalusia, Murcia and Madrid, the precedent that has been set will not fail to stain any of the agreements that the seriousness of the moment demands. Both those derived from the aftermath of the pandemic and the crisis opened by Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. Thus, behind closed doors, it is urgent to consolidate the economic recovery, unravel the renewal of the CGPJ or reinforce the credit of the Crown. And, from the outside, join without hesitation in the EU’s action against Russia. In all these scenarios, the national populism of Vox is a toxic factor that the PP has decided not to neutralize.

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