Spanish nationalist party surges ahead

Vox leader Santiago Abascal addressing a party rally

Yesterday’s general election in Spain saw the nationalist party Vox double its number of MPs from 24 to 52, after its vote increased from 10.3% to 15.1%.

Vox has been in existence for less than six years, and achieved its first significant electoral success at regional elections in Andalusia, southern Spain, last December.

Yesterday was the second Spanish general election in seven months. In April Vox (who had never previously polled above 1% in a general election) managed 10.3% and won parliamentary seats for the first time. Following yesterday’s result, left-wing opponents feared that Spain’s “far-right” is now “one of the strongest in Europe”.

Some observers perceived the latest Vox success as partly a backlash by traditionalist voters against the vindictive decision by Spain’s leftwing rulers to exhume the remains of General Francisco Franco (who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 after a successful anti-communist revolt).

Spain’s leftwing rulers recently exhumed the remains of former leader Gen. Francisco Franco from his tomb at the Valley of the Fallen (above) near Madrid.

This year’s two general elections have been a disaster for Spain’s mainstream conservative parties, the long-established People’s Party (some of whose right-wing broke away to form Vox at the end of 2013) and the ‘centre-right’ Citizens party.

Yesterday the PP won back some seats at the expense of the Citizens, who lost 47 of their 57 seats. The important fact however is that while Spanish nationalism (which had been electorally insignificant since General Franco’s death in 1975) is rapidly advancing, the conservative parties are in crisis.

The two conservative parties combined now have only 98 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, down from 123 in April this year and 169 in 2016.

This is a phenomenon repeated in several European countries, notably Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU-CSU is divided over whether to continue ruling out future coalitions with the ever-stronger anti-immigration party AfD.

The one big exception is the UK, which while politics remains dominated by the Brexit question has had no chance to develop any serious nationalist and anti-immigration force.

Later this week H&D will begin detailed coverage of the UK’s 2019 General Election, comparing our political line-up with the rest of Europe, and asking how our movement can progress in a post-Brexit nation.

Spanish nationalist party in election breakthrough

For the first time in forty years, nationalists have been elected to the Spanish Parliament in Madrid.

On April 28th the new nationalist party Vox won 10.3% of the vote and 24 seats in Spain’s general election.

Vox leader Santiago Abascal

Until recently Spain had one of the most inflexible two-party systems in Europe. Anyone broadly of the right (i.e. who would have supported Franco’s Nationalists during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War) would vote for the conservative Popular Party. Anyone broadly of the left (i.e. who would have supported the socialist-communist Republicans during the Civil War) would vote for Spain’s Socialist Party PSOE, unless they were from the Catalonian or Basque regions, when they might vote for separatist parties.

Multiple scandals have shattered this duopoly, with the conservative Popular Party the main losers. In this year’s election the PP lost more than half of their parliamentary seats, challenged both by Vox and by a free-market conservative party called Citizens.

For the time being, Vox will have no share in government, which will be dominated by the socialists with support from the far left and separatist parties.

Predictably Vox’s strongest support came in regions that have been most threatened by African immigration. Across Andalusia – where they made their most significant breakthrough in regional elections late last year – Vox polled 13.4% (more than 600,000 votes). In the small city of Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the North African coast, they were runners-up with 24%.

Santiago Abascal with French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen

This result will give Vox hope of winning MEPs for the first time when Spain holds its European Parliamentary elections on May 26th. It is expected that Vox MEPs will join the anti-immigration bloc headed by Matteo Salvini’s Italian Lega and Marine Le Pen’s renamed National Rally (formerly the National Front).

Gerd Honsik, 1941-2018

Poet and historical revisionist Gerd Honsik died on Saturday 7th April at his home in Sopron, Hungary, just across the border from his native Austria.

A political activist since the 1960s, Honsik had been a federal executive member of Austria’s National Democratic Party, which was banned in 1988 under increasingly draconian anti-democratic laws designed to protect the political establishment.

That same year Honsik wrote a book titled Freisprüch für Hitler? (Acquittal for Hitler?), questioning the historical orthodoxies that are now backed by the full force of criminal law in much of Europe.  This began thirty years of legal persecution.  In 1992 he was given an 18-month prison sentence by a Vienna court, having already been convicted in Munich: both the Austrian and German legal systems ruled that historical revisionism amounted to “incitement” and that, as under British race laws (which do not yet criminalise revisionism), the truth is no defence.

Honsik fled to Spain to escape this persecution, and while in Spain published further revisionist article in the magazine Halt.  He remained in exile until Spanish law was changed to permit his arrest and extradition to Austria in 2007, then began serving the 18-month sentence from fifteen years earlier, and in 2009 was convicted of additional offences and given a further five year prison sentence. This was reduced on appeal to four years, but an extra two year sentence was added in 2010.

Gerd Honsik (left) with Spanish patriot, author and publisher Pedro Varela in 2012

The famous 2006 Tehran Conference on the Holocaust was partly at Honsik’s instigation, after he had asked Iran’s Ambassador to Germany in December 2005 whether the Islamic Republic could provide legal or diplomatic assistance for the Canadian-German revisionist publisher Ernst Zündel.  Honsik was forbidden to travel to Iran, but the Tehran Conference was addressed by his attorney Dr Herbert Schaller. In 2011 Dr Schaller won his client an early release from prison, but nevertheless Honsik had served four years merely for the normal pursuit of historical enquiry.

Gerd Honsik took refuge in Hungary last year, as the Austrian authorities were threatening further legal moves against him. His death marks another heroic milestone in the pursuit of historical truth and justice. Within the last eight months we have lost Ernst Zündel, his widow Ingrid Rimland Zündel, Don Salvador Borrego, Dr Herbert Schaller, and now Gerd Honsik. They lit a flame that younger generations must now carry forward.

 

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