A dark cloud has fallen upon Spain! Old ghosts and hungry vultures that have stayed in the shadows for decades are now putting their claws in the throat of the Iberian country. It is no exaggeration to write that Spain is currently facing an existential threat.
The Political Crisis in Spain
Exactly two years ago a coalition of losers put forward what became the first successful no confidence vote in Spanish history. Spain’s communist party Podemos, separatists such as Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), the Basque nationalists PNV, led by the Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, came together to oust the governing center right Partido Popular led by Mariano Rajoy. What followed was a government, nicknamed Frankenstein. This government was comprised of many forces whose core purpose was to break up Spain and lead it into ruin.
The vote of no confidence, as all events that disrupt the status quo, changed the political landscape of Spain and brought three major changes that have significantly impacted Spanish political life.
First, Partido Popular changed leadership and for the first time in its history had internal elections. Rajoy resigned from his post as party leader and announced his intention to retire from political life. Differently from his predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar, Rajoy did not choose his successor, allowing the party base to choose its next leader. It was thus, that Pablo Casado came to the helm of the biggest center right party in Spain.
The young leader marked a generational change for the Party leading it away from the Rajoy centrism and towards a more conservative line. He was seen more as an ideological successor of Aznar’s rather than Rajoy’s. However, the newfound conservatism of the Party proved to be short-lived. After losing the elections after the no confidence vote, the so-called Barons of the Party, i.e. the regional leaders, forced Casado to return towards the centrism of Mariano Rajoy. Nevertheless, Casado is proving to be his own man, as he is charting his own path for Partido Popular (PP), one that is a peculiar mix of the ideologies of both Rajoy and Aznar, which proved more successful in the second elections that took place after the no-confidence vote.
Spain’s Post-Franco Bipartidism Era is Over
After 2016, and especially in the last two elections that happened in 2019, it was apparent that the bipartidism of the post-Franco era had come to an end. The current political landscape in Spain is fragmented with several parties on the right and the left. Due to this, it has been more difficult for clear majorities to come out of elections. So, the first coalition government was formed after the elections of November 2019. After saying many times that he would not make a pact with the communist Podemos, the socialist Sanchez formally entered into a coalition with them, and by January they were governing together, in what is the most left wing government in Spanish history. This has emboldened separatist parties such as ERC and JxCat which provide support to the left-wing government from time to time.
Lastly, until 2018, Spain had appeared immune from the rise of conservative forces that had erupted elsewhere in Europe. However, Vox – a party formed from members who had left PP – went from 0.2% in 2016 to becoming the third political party in the country in a matter of three years. Vox is a patriotic force, who was born precisely because the Partido Popular had abandoned the right. It espouses similar values and beliefs as the Republican Party in the US, defending traditions, culture, strengthening the individual, national unity, cutting taxes, deregulating and free markets. However, the media, the Socialist party, and even the Partido Popular until very recently treated it as an extremist force, rejecting and ignoring it and spreading fake news.
The same who sit with the communists and separatists who want the destruction of Spain, feel threatened by the rise of this Party that speaks to the men and women who love their country, live paycheck to paycheck and have been abandoned by the establishment. Vox has risen because the Partido Popular was unable to do its duty and defend the values it pretends to uphold before the socialist aggression. That is why Vox gained a popularity and enthusiasm similar to Donald Trump’s in a matter of two years and now is a decisive factor in Spanish politics. The rallies of Vox remind one of Trump’s rallies, so it would not be a surprise if the charming Abascal saw himself as Prime Minister of Spain. He already made the impossible happen when his party won in the left-wing Andalusia and is part of the governing coalition. This would be similar to Trump winning in California.
Spain Under Threat
In this context, Spain finds itself before threats whose nature can be summed into economic and constitutional.
It is enough to see the unemployment rate in Spain from 1990 to 2018 to get an idea of the impact of Partido Popular and Socialist Party in the lives of the Spanish. From 1990 to 1995 the Socialists were in government and the unemployment rate reached a high of 24.1%. The PP followed from 1996 to 2004 and the rate of unemployment went down to 10.6% in 2001. Afterwards, under the government led by the socialist Zapatero the housing bubble occurred, the unemployment rate jumped to 22.6% in 2011, the highest since the previous socialist government and the GDP fell 3.7% in 2009, coupled with a loss in competitiveness, huge deficits and high indebtedness. Zapatero first denied that there was any crisis and then made it worse in the last mile of his irresponsible tenure as Prime Minister.
The subsequent recovery that took place from 2012 until 2018, under the leadership of Mariano Rajoy is considered unanimously from economists as nothing short of miraculous. Rajoy’s government implemented supply side measures by reforming the labor market, cutting corporate and income taxes and deregulating. The result from 2012 to 2017 was a recovery of more than half of the jobs lost during the crisis – more than 1.5 million jobs in three years were created, a decrease of 70% in the fiscal deficit, a reduction in trade deficit through the increase of exports by 33%, and a reduction of public debt to sustainable levels. Government revenue, as a result of tax cuts, increased to record highs, with corporate tax receipts rising 29%. In 2019, thanks to the reforms of Rajoy, the economy grew faster than the rest of the European Union.
Sanchez Steps in
As soon as Sanchez came to power he announced increases to all corporate and income taxes. When he was done with them, he declared his intention to add new taxes. His communist allies of Podemos, propose introducing a wealth tax which has failed in every country it has been tried. The new government’s intention is to increase spending and expand the deficit. The Spanish GDP is expected to fall 22% in the second quarter. In April, the industrial production fell 34% year on year. The automobile industry fell 92%, while the textiles dropped 77%. Instead of providing accommodating policies to enable companies to rehire again, the Sanchez-Iglesias government wants to raise taxes and spend without limit. The socialist government want to implement a living wage for all citizens, a wealth tax and more spending in welfare policies that are unproductive. So, more dependence on government, less productivity and higher debt. If allowed, they will push Spain in a deeper and more painful crisis than all the previous left-wing governments.
Sanchez Makes COVID-19 Worse
Sanchez’s incompetence made Spain the worst hit country in Europe from the coronavirus after Italy. Some would say it is even worse, with tens of thousands of deaths, accusations of a deep lack of transparency, political assaults and vengeful acts towards the Community of Madrid governed by the right, and no plan for the future. According to an ABC survey, only 27.7% of Spanish citizens believe Pedro Sanchez is acting accordingly and efficiently.
On the other side, the constitutional threat is even more deadly for Spain. ERC, JxCat and other separatist parties want to break up Spain. If they were to succeed the Kingdom of Spain would cease to exist. Many are right to propose that these parties are unconstitutional because they openly talk and advocate for the secession of Catalunya, the abolition of Monarchy and the destruction of Spain as a nation. Yet, the Socialist Party negotiates with them and seeks their support. The parties know they will never get a majority. It would be impossible. However, they hope to cause enough trouble that the government will sit down and listen to their unconstitutional demands. Sanchez, lacking a majority of his own, is dependent on them to pass laws. He cannot govern simply by decree, albeit that is what he has been doing in most cases.
Pay Attention to Podemos
The other risk comes in the form of Podemos, led by the communist Pablo Iglesias. Podemos as well is against the Monarchy, and some may say against Spain itself. Partido Popular, Vox and many in the media have accused Podemos of being funded by Iran and Venezuela. The spokesperson of PP in Congress, Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo has accused Iglesias’ father of being a communist terrorist, related to his involvement in the radical terrorist Marxist organization the Revolutionary Antifascist Patriotic Front (FRAP). Iglesias himself, through social media, has mentioned his pride for his father’s political activities.
So, Spain today is governed by a socialist prime minister with the backing of communists and separatists whose aim is to overthrow the King and break up the Spanish territory into different states. They openly speak against the King, and the Constitution. Yet, the media do not call them out and there is no political will to make them illegal, even though there is plenty of will to act against Vox which defends Spain and its unity relentlessly. The Partido Popular as well joined votes with the Socialists and Podemos to keep Vox out of the Parliamentary committees when Vox is the third political force in Spain. The establishment is willing to negotiate and consult with the enemies of Spain, but not with conservatives. Sanchez and Iglesias are using the long forgotten civil war and the polarizing figure of Generalissimo Francisco Franco to divide the Spanish and force them into taking sides. Divide and conquer is a strategy the left knows only too well.
The EU Won’t Face the Reality of Spain’s Situation, but Vox Will
Nobody in Europe is raising the concern that Spain is facing economic and constitutional threats that put at risk its very existence, because the European establishment is a globalist one that does not believe in national identity, traditions, national unity, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. So, it will continue to turn a blind eye and accept in its bosom communists and socialists.
Luckily, Spain has a true opposition in Congress, in the form of Vox. Santiago Abascal is an eloquent leader, with a deep charisma, quite likable and totally original in his language. He is the true novelty in Spain, where politicians are stiff and thoroughly politically correct. He speaks with a clarity that is missing from all other leaders. More importantly, he has ideas that lead to success. Economically, his party is close to Partido Popular. Where he makes the difference is in his social policies, in awakening national dignity, unity, traditions and all the special things that make Spain unique. Abascal does not allow the left to intimidate him or Vox. He is not complexed by the right’s history with Franco. Partido Popular, on the other hand, has not been able to overcome this complexity and that is why it appears weak every time the left uses history as a weapon.
Abascal is credible when he speaks against the communists and separatists, because he and his family were persecuted by the terrorist separatist organization ETA in his native Basque region. His family’s small business was destroyed by radicals, in similar attacks happening currently in the US.
The Next Step to Save Spain
Spain needs to go into early elections as soon as possible. A strong, working coalition between PP and Vox can win and make sure the success of the years 2012-2018 is repeated, to pull Spain out of the abyss in which it is currently falling. To do this, Pablo Casado must not fall into the trap of the left and spurn Vox as the evil stepbrother. A Vox-PP government would be able to continue the economic supply side pro-growth and pro-market measures of the Rajoy government and prevent the destruction of Spain by appealing to the individual responsibility of the majority of the citizens, awakening their national pride, Christian roots and traditions, all of which the left wants to erase in its eternal pursuit of a world without any heart, soul or unique identities.