What Europe has to learn from Spain

As if it were a unique astronomical event, every four years, and after several months brewing, the perfect day to go for a walk occurs: election day.

The streets are emptier than usual, passers-by seem to have an established route, from home to the polling station and from the polling station to home. On any other day, it is easy to observe the gait of certain people, who walk as if the world belongs to them. It is easy to see that they are mainly white, middle-aged men, and it cannot be otherwise, if the configuration of society is tailor-made for them. But on election day, the streets belong to no one, yet.

This Sunday was seen as decisive for both the Spanish and the European future. The fear of the far right entering government for the first time since the country returned to democracy was palpable in the air, especially in the air of university neighbourhoods and those adorned with LGTBIQ+ and feminist flags.

In the humble neighbourhoods, the bars were full of people who, by their attire, seemed to be coming back from work (on a Sunday), sharing their opinions loudly, between constant sips of beer, one could hear:

“I’ll vote for the other one (VOX), I’m sick of all the politicians” -Vox was postulated as the alternative to the Spanish PP-PSOE “bipartisan elite” –

“I will vote for VOX because I am Spanish” – the only argument coming from a boy who did not even look old enough to vote.

The strategy of disassociating themselves from “the powerful”- as VOX calls the other political parties – of proclaiming that the citizenry is bombarded by the left with manipulated data, of classifying the LGTBI laws, of which Spain is a pioneer, as indoctrination, and of boosting feelings of frustration and exhaustion and then palliating them with the magical solution of patriotism, seems to be deeply rooted in the sector of society that would be the first to suffer from their restrictive policies. It is essential to keep the herd distracted by screaming to the skies for the defence of their nation while they destroy it. 

The interesting walk ended with the start of scrutiny. Everything pointed to the fact that after a great action – which have been great socially relevant advances – there would be a great reaction from the right-wing and ultra-conservative extreme right-wing society, and so it has happened, partially.

The right-wing Partido Popular (PP) has won in most of the country, with no clear option to govern due to insufficient seats, even with the support of the far-right VOX, which has lost a lot in representation. This favours a coalition of all the country’s left-wing parties, which would have enough seats to govern, thus avoiding going back decades in terms of human rights.

The fall of Vox stopped the worrying advance of the far right in Europe. The political scenario is still uncertain, but what we can say is that the far right, at its best in almost all of Europe, is losing votes in Spain.

Yes, in Spain we like the sun, paella and sangria, but what we like most is to ensure that there is a seat at the table for everyone.

Image by Freepik

What Europe has to learn from Spain
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