Tuesday, January 28, 2014

European Parliament Vice-president quits People’s Party and joins ultra-nationalist force


Madrid (ACN). Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-president of the European Parliament and famous for his strong Spanish nationalist stances, has quitted the People’s Party (PP) after 30 years of membership. Vidal-Quadras has joined the newly-created party VOX, a populist ultra-nationalist force defending a total recentralisation of Spain and the elimination of the Autonomous Communities. In a video explaining his decision, the Europarliament’s VP criticises the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s “diagnosis” and “solutions” for “the multiple crisis” the country is going through, an “economic, institutional, moral and national unity” crisis. He considers Rajoy is too soft with the self-determination claims of a large part of the Catalan society. “I haven’t changed, but I feel obliged to quit in order to maintain my commitment to everything in which I believe”, he said. According to him, it is the party that has changed. However, after 15 years of being Euro MP for the PP, a few weeks ago it was revealed that the party did not want him on the list for the next European elections. Now, Vidal-Quadras might lead VOX in next May’s electoral race. The leader of the Catalan branch of the PP, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, suggested Vidal-Quadras should be removed from the position of Vice-president of the European Parliament for having quit the PP.


Alejo Vidal-Quadras is part of the most Spanish nationalist section of the PP and participates in several talk shows on extreme-right television channels. In fact, in one of those TV shows, he suggested sending a Guardia Civil General to take the command of the Catalan Police as a way to end Catalan independence claims. Vidal-Quadras, born in Barcelona in an extremely conservative and wealthy family, has a long history with controversial statements. From 1991 to 1996 he led the Catalan branch of the PP, but after internal fights he left it and became a member of Madrid’s branch. His oratory is agile and particularly forceful when he talks about Catalonia’s independence and the unity of Spain. For this reason, many people consider him to be demagogical and, on some issues, close to extreme-right stances. On the other hand, Vidal-Quadras holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics and has deeply participated in the definition of the European Union’s Energy Policy, which has granted him a respected position in Brussels in economic and energy matters.


Last Friday, Alejo Vidal-Quadras has sent a letter to Rajoy informing him about his decision to quit the PP after 30 years of membership; a letter that has been made public this Monday. At the same time Vidal-Quadras has recorded and posted a video for the PP members explaining the reasons for his decision. The Catalan politician argues that quitting the party has not been “an easy” process; it has been “painful” but “inevitable”. However, he says he has been forced to take this step since he had “repetitively” tried to discuss the approach adopted on the “multiple crisis” Spain is going through with the party’s leadership. According to him, he has only received “silence” and indifference” as an answer. In the letter sent to Rajoy, Vidal-Quadras underlined that, “until the present day”, the differences between them “had never been incompatible” with the fact of being members of the party. The differences were part “of the internal pluralism without affecting defining or deep questions”, he added. Furthermore, he highlighted his “loyalty, commitment and dedication” to the PP project during all these 30 years.

“When the enemy is hitting without pause […] each non-fought fight is a lost fight”

According to Vidal-Quadras, his decision is due “to real tensions with deep roots”. “We are facing a structural crisis that the government is handling as if it were a management crisis”, he said. The Spanish Government is “giving palliative pills when major surgery is required”, he stated. According to him, Spain is facing “an economic, institutional, moral and national unity” crisis. Furthermore, he criticised Rajoy for “offering dialogue without an expiration date” to “Catalan separatists, who have already set a day and a question for the liquidation of Spain as a nation”. Finally, he told Rajoy that “when the enemy is hitting without pause and keeps the persistent advantage, each non-fought fight is a lost fight”. “Until today, the promoters of the disappearance of our great Nation, those who have used the bombs or the guns, who have reinvented the past and poisoned the present, have always been at the helm of the initiative and, consequently, have the odds with them to win”.

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