HOPE not hate

Political

Country in focus: Spain

Sandra Cortés in Madrid gives an overview of the failures of the far right in Spain | October 2012


Despite Spain’s appalling economic, political and social situation the Spanish far right has done little beyond hold a demonstration of several hundred people in Madrid under the slogan ‘Against Democracy’.

Earlier efforts to infiltrate the trade union demonstration in València in May, and the half-a-million strong welcome of the march by striking coal miners in Madrid in July having failed miserably.

They try to ape the messages of the anti-austerity ‘Indignados’ but have not managed to climb aboard protests or, like the Golden Dawn nazis in Greece, exploit the crisis.

The creation of a National Revolutionary Action Network (ANR) in September to encourage nationalists and members of the various parties to attempt to take part in mass protests has not solved this problem.

Spain does not have far-right MPs in its parliament.  This is because, after General Franco died in 1975, the Spanish extreme-right underwent a long fragmentation process.

Fragmented

Although post-Franco fascist murder gangs acted with security forces’ complicity during the 1980s, no group emerged to grasp Franco’s legacy. It was only in the mid-1990s that the extreme-right appeared in the shape of the National Democratic Party (DN). Since then, Spanish extremists have been trying to adopt the style of their European counterparts, avoiding references to the Franco dictatorship and posing as democrats. Nevertheless, the presence of nazi and fascist activists in their ranks haunts them.

Their weakness is attributable to the bitter rivalry between the leaders of Spanish far-right groups that leaves the fascist scene fragmented. While the main competitors to win those of an authoritarian, racist and anti-working class mindset in Madrid remain small like the Republican Social Movement (MSR), National Democracy (DN) or España2000, in Catalonia the picture is different. There, Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC), led by Francoist activist Josep Anglada, managed to win 67 council seats in regional elections.

With an Islamophobic, anti-immigration agenda, Anglada succeeded in recruiting former nazis and fascists. Some of these like Carles Francisoud, who attacked abortion clinics and left-wing and separatist organisations, have convictions for terrorism. Anglada has been personally involved in several incidents ranging from an assault on a youngster to an attack on his own son. In a 2002 TV programme Anglada confessed to being a fascist who would reintroduce the death penalty if he came to power.

España2000 and has councillors in València and in Alcalá de Henares near Madrid. The party  is the personal property of businessman, José Luis Roberto, associated with the outlawed nazi group Radical Action. Roberto also is involved in the prostitution business through his association of brothel owners (ANELA) – a business generating huge sums of money – and owns a security company, Levantina, infamous for employing thugs.

Revisionist

The National Democratic Party is España2000’s rival and members have been involved in attacks on each other. Led by a former member of the nazi band División250, Manuel Canduela it has ties to Golden Dawn and the nazi Hungarian Jobbik party.

The Republican Social Movement (MSR) tends not to contest elections and has no elected representatives but belongs to the Alliance of European National Movements along with Nick Griffin’s BNP, and is linked to the Lega Nord in Italy. Several of its members were convicted of membership of the banned nazi Blood&Honour organisation in 2010. Its leader, Juan Antonio Llopart, runs the New Republic publishing firm which produces work by fascists and Holocaust-deniers.

Other important emerging elements of the extreme-right spectrum are ‘new’ media like Alerta Digital or Intereconomía, basing their message on Islamophobia and a revisionist version of Spanish history. Right-wing journalist Enrique de Diego launched a new party called Regeneration with a populist message last year met.

The crisis fuelling of aspirations for Catalan independence has caught the attention of Spain’s traditionally right-wing army which has threatened to intervene if the region declares independence.

In a chilling warning, serving army colonel Francisco Alaman declared to Alerta Digital: “Independence for Catalonia? Over my dead body...and those of many soldiers.”

www.antifeixistes.org

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