Hydras, Medusas, Gorgons: Spanish left try to stop ‘mythological monsters’ of PP, Vox
With the early general elections in Spain less than two months away, the socialist party (PSOE/S&D) wants to exploit fear of an alliance between the centre-right Popular Party (PP/EPP) and the far-right Vox (ECR), which they liken to a “mythological two-headed monster”: the Hydra of the Greeks and Romans of classical antiquity.
Since acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s surprise announcement on Monday of a snap election following the severe defeat of the PSOE in Sunday’s regional and municipal elections, Socialists have set a new course in their political compass: their political “north” is to stir up fear of the “spectre” of populism and the far right.
Education Minister Pilar Alegría stressed that her party wants to “explain to the public” that PP president Alberto Núñez Feijóo and Vox leader Santiago Abascal “are like that monster with two heads” on “fundamental issues such as climate change” in an interview aired on Wednesday on RNE.
“One head despises it, and the other says it (climate change) must be fought by putting a flower pot on a balcony”, said the minister about recent comments by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP), in which she proposed to the inhabitants of the capital to put a plant on their balcony (whoever had a balcony) to “bring health to everyone”.
Trump, Bolsonaro, the PP, Vox and the two-headed Hydra
Alegría also compared Núñez Feijóo and Abascal with the former president of the United States, Donald Trump and the former president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, both climate change deniers and radicals on many political issues, to give this “example” of what could happen in Spain if the PP governs with Vox.
According to opinion pollsters, Spain’s voter profile is moderate, and centrist, and would disapprove of the Iberian country following the same “hard-line” example as Hungary or Italy on sensitive issues such as migration.
Vox’s ideology (voice, in Latin), born in 2017 and with an ultra-conservative (or far-right) profile, leaves no room for doubt: they follow the same general principles as other European “sister” parties, among them Fratelli d’ Italia of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni or their “friend”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Looking back 2,000 years, it was the ancient Greeks and Romans who, to refer to their “monsters” – apart from bloody emperors such as Caligula or Nero – used to mention Hydra, the water monster that could regenerate its two heads if they were cut off: the same example given by the Spanish Minister.
They also spoke of Medusa or the Gorgons, all terrible mythological (female) monsters.
“This is not a scarecrow coming, no, no, no, no. It is not a chimaera (…). They (Vox) are already governing in Castilla y León, it is not something imaginary”, the minister added.
The mythological allusion is crystal clear: the dilemma of the PSOE’s next electoral campaign, together with its left-wing allies, will be: either progressive forces or barbarism and chaos in the “Orbán style”, the Fratelli d’ Italia model, or even in its most serious form, the extremist Alternative For Germany (AfD).
With his decision to bring forward the elections, Sánchez has presented Spanish voters with a complicated dilemma, and, at the same time, it was a smart move.
It has diverted attention from Sunday’s heavy defeat by relaunching the debate about the “chaos” (disorder) that the PP and Vox would bring or the “cosmos” (order and balance) of the left.
There is already a dangerous precedent in the regional government of Castilla y León, where the PP has been forced into an uncomfortable “cohabitation” with Vox, a party that has put the president of that region, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, under great pressure, challenging him with very bold proposals, including harsh anti-abortion measures.
Debate is open on a ‘cordon sanitaire’ to stop Vox
In an attempt to defuse the socialist strategy (barbarism or the left), Alberto Núñez Feijóo prefers not to speak clearly about what he will do after 23 July if he wins the elections and needs the support of Vox.
But even if the PP does not want to, the debate is already on the table: the president of the region of Cantabria (north), Miguel Ángel Revilla, said on Tuesday that his party (Partido Regionalista de Cantabria) will allow a solo PP government in his region to prevent Vox from entering the local executive together with the PP, El País reported
Meanwhile, the Community of Madrid, and its president Díaz Ayuso, have become the main bastion of the PP, an “aircraft carrier” from which the PP prepares its strategy of assault on the Moncloa, the seat of government.
For the PP, the regional president of Madrid proves that it is possible to do without Vox, on which it had to rely in the previous legislature. Last Sunday, she obtained an absolute majority in the region and does not need to be ideologically “contaminated” by Vox: the ultimate goal for the PP.
“Alea iacta est”, the die is (not yet) cast.
(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)