Vox Goes Too Far?

All major unions for the Spanish police forces have bitten back at the extreme-right party Vox over their criticism of the riot police.

SPN Violent Protests against AmnestyThis outburst seemed unthinkable given that until now ranking members of the Policía Nacional have aligned themselves with both the PP centre right and especially Vox over the Prime Minister’s coming amnesty law that will pardon Catalan politicians who made moves for a unilateral declaration of independence several years back.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the second-in-command of Vox turned up at a demonstration, which have turned violent, in front of the socialist HQ in Madrid (Ferraz).

In fact, radical, right-wing supporters have been protesting outside PSOE offices across the country, right down to a municipal level.

Javier Ortega-Smith (Vox) and Vice-PM of the Junta de Castilla y Léon, Juan García Gallardo, were present and the former reprimanded the riot police, saying that he would be recording them to make sure that they didn’t overstep the mark (as they had had to charge violent protesters) and that he would be taking them to court if they did.

This ‘threat’ did not sit well with the Unidades de Intervención de la Policía (UIP or riot police), whose policing action was not only put into question by Vox but also at least one conservative (PP) MP.

The largest police union for the Policía Nacional, Jupol, which has been expressing their disaccord with the amnesty decision, lost no time, however, to criticise Vox saying that Ortega-Smith’s words were “out of place,” describing Vox’s reaction to Pedro Sanchez being sworn in as Prime Minister as a “huida hacia adelante;” literally “fleeing by advancing.” *

The Spokesperson for the union says that Vox should instead be calling for calming things down,

A communiqué from the Unión Federal de Policía stated, “Neither Mr. Ortega Smith nor any MP has the authority to threaten, coerce or attempt to direct any police work,” defining Ortega’s tone as “threatening.”

As if this rebuke were not enough, another police union (SUP) said about the Vice-Chairman’s words, “Its threat of judicial action points toward a support for violent, urban agitators and terrorists.”

Yet another police union, the Confederación Española de Policía (CEP) also had words of criticism for the chief opposition party, the conservative PP, whose MP, Rafael Hernando, had posted a comment on Twitter (since given a ridiculous name) describing riot-police actions as “not appropriate in a democracy.” The CEP said that his words were “irresponsible, unbacked by proof and without respect for the presumption of innocence.”

* It’s a Spanish expression that means blindly rushing ahead without thinking it through, leading to disaster.

Editorial comment: for those of you that don’t follow Spanish politics, the coming months and years until the next elections could well be turbulent times, given the rise of the extreme right-wing in Spain. The supposedly moderate right has formed political alliances that have given positions of power to Vox MPs in regional government.

It should be noted that some ranking officers in the Policía Nacional, especially in Madrid, allegedly miss the Franco regime. Franco’s top police torturer (who incidentally received an amnesty to protect him against prosecution when the country returned to democracy) was invited to the police HQ as an honoured guest as recently as a couple of years ago.

And therein lies the hypocrisy of Vox and the PP, because the general amnesty back in the late 70s to protect those that had operated under the dictator’s regime with impunity was precisely that, an amnesty, yet that they are now complaining bitterly against the Catalan amnesty law.

It is also immensely hypocritical that when the Catalans carried out their illegal referendum, the police where criticised internationally because of their brutality against voters at the ballot boxes and Vox and the PP cheered the police on, but now that the police are acting against their violent demonstrations in front of socialist-party offices, they consider that the police are overstepping the mark.

(News/Opinion: Spain)

  3 comments for “Vox Goes Too Far?

  1. November 19, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    Fred: and therein lies the difference; both side commit atrocities during a civil war, but Franco’s regime is guilty of nearly 40 years of oppression, constitutional torture, summary executions, rape with impunity and arbitrary imprisonment and slave labour.

    And the reason of that none of them were ever brought to trial for their crimes was because of the general amnesty in the late 70s following the death of Franco in 1975. So how they don’t pass out from a blushing fit when complaining about how unfair the Catalan amnesty is a mystery.

    Jose María Aznar, the golden boy of the post Franco, right wing, voted against the Spanish Constitution and Vox are pro-Franco, ultra-Catholic apologists. Having said that, I wouldn’t trust the socialists further than I could throw them. 😉

  2. Fred Davies
    November 18, 2023 at 11:29 pm

    …. try protesting under Franco and you would soon see the material difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. Sadly there remains thousands of unmarked graves of those murdered by so called nationalists. Granted elements of the Republican side committed atrocities but of course Franco carried on with the smiting/ forced adoption/labour camps long after the war ended

  3. Patrick Barry Storey
    November 18, 2023 at 11:22 am

    Don’t do as I do or want to do or even did in the past. Franco may have stood down but like other dictatorships and communist states around this world, the head is cut off, but the bodies remain.

    Functionaries hardly ever lose the control they had; look at the UK now. People who resigned are back in power after gardening leave. So called civil servants, still advising or turning blind eyes to corruption.

    People in charge at council level and professional are also looking the other way. Sadly it’s the way of this world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *