At 9 a.m., the debate for the motion of no confidence presented by Vox against the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez (PSOE), will begin in the Spanish Congress. It is unlikely, if not impossible, that the 52 MPs from the challening party will achieve their aim and that Santiago Abascal (Vox) will end the week as the country's new leader.
The motion comes after seven months of coronavirus pandemic. What will the conservative Popular Party do? How nasty will the arguments be? Will any constructive ideas about the government of the Kingdom or about the national strategy against Covid be discussed or will it all be ideological partisan slander?
1. Vox's motion of no confidence against Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) is beginning in the Spanish parliament. Thread here all day with a summary of the debate, which will be very tense.
2. Ignacio Garriga (Vox) admits that “we may lose but we will have borne witness” and “MPs will lose more” because “they will have to explain to Spaniards their responsibility for the continuity of this disaster”, in reference to Sánchez government during Covid pandemic.
3. Sánchez is “the symbol of lies and fraud”, says Garriga (Vox), and he presides over “a government that has brought ruin and death” with “Bolivarian inspiration” and too many ministries and positions. He rules thanks to “coup leaders and front men for serial killers”.
4. For now, Vox's rhetoric in Congress is a typical party-political attack on the left. Nothing you haven't heard many times before in the last few months. The odd superficial reference to the pandemic, but Bildu, terrorists, separatists, criminal government, etc.
6. Garriga repeats a list of Vox, or opposition in general, arguments about the Sánchez government's mismanagement of the pandemic: “Many people have died because of what you did not do. You didn't do anything even though you had the information”.
7. Vox argument is conservative: they are accusing the government of failing to protect the nation and its citizens. “60,000 lives lost.” “Long live March 8!” is the same as “Long live the Chinese virus!”, says Garriga, “your March 8 led to the death of thousands of Spaniards”.
8. Garriga jumps between dates and topics, now comments on the state of alarm in Madrid, “a tyrannical measure” backed by “false and outdated data”, which confirms “the need for you to all leave government as soon as possible”. Jumps to Wuhan and “the Chinese virus”.
9. “China must pay,” says Garriga. How does Vox expect Spain to make China pay for the coronavirus? What exactly would we do? After two sentences, the MP jumps off to Islamism, Molenbeek, Birmingham, Andalusia, Catalonia and Murcia.
10. Illegal immigration, “the Chinese virus”, young immigrants, jihadists, squatters, Gibraltar, “Picardo the Pirate”, Spain's image abroad, Zapatero, Venezuela, socialist communism, Marlaska, Ábalos, “you have turned lying into a political tool.”
11. Sánchez's goal, says Garriga (Vox), is to “sow hatred among all Spaniards”, “the important thing is to guarantee conflict”. He adds the feminism and gender debate to the list of complaints against the government.
12. Abascal (Vox): “Death and destruction for which Pablo Iglesias (Podemos) is directly responsible in the worst of its aspects, which is about the inhuman abandonment of tens of thousands of elderly people”.
15. Not that they have to put forward any new arguments. Of course, Vox can defend the ones they already held. They thus record their opposition in Congress with this constitutional tool. But to what end, if they only have 52 MPs with no further support?
17. Abascal: “they will not impose a progressive, globalist tyranny on us”. The PSOE only knows how to “redistribute poverty”. He says Vox does not want a more federal Europe like China, the Soviet Union or “Hitler's dream of Europe”. He defends the nation state.
19. In Spain, the motion of no confidence must be constructive, it must propose an alternative government. Don't know if Mr, Abascal intends to get to that part later in his speech, with different specific measures. At the moment, almost all partisan rhetoric.
20. Abascal (Vox): “All immigrants who enter our land illegally must be expelled immediately”. He advocates prosecuting NGOs “for collaborating with the human trafficking mafias”. He wants to deport immigrants who commit crimes.
21. Is Vox today giving an intelligent speech with a real alternative for government that might even convince someone in another party to vote for their motion, or are they using valuable parliamentary time to repeat the usual polarizing party political rhetoric?
22. After three hours of speeches, and in the absence of specific proposals to govern the country or improve the immediate national healthcare or economic situations, this seems to me a waste of political time. Are the other parties going to spend hours replying anyway?
23. While Abascal continues with the usual rhetoric, let's see some initial political reactions. Montero, government spokeswoman: “The motion of no confidence is a clear example of anti-politics, far removed from the concerns of Spaniards”.
Published: Oct 21, 2020, 12:16 pm
24. Echániz (deputy PP spokesman in Congress): “shameful Vox show”, “they may not count on the [support of] the Popular Party”.
26. Errejón (Más País): “Today none of us should reply to this rubbish. Let this rehash of insults end now, we can vote, they lose and we can go back to the important thing: fighting the pandemic, taking care of ourselves, saving lives”.
27. Even if Vox's real goal with the motion of no confidence were to frame the PP on the right, not to oust Sánchez and govern the Nation which is what the Constitution says this tool is supposed to be for, has Abascal made it easy or difficult for Casado this morning?
28. Abascal ends remarks. Three and a half hours of Vox speeches. After listening to all of it, is anyone clear on what Vox's specific national plan is to govern the Kingdom in the coming months and to solve either the coronavirus or the economic part better than Sánchez?
34. Sanchez tells Casado that PP is showing “extraordinary weakness”, that Vox will always “demand more” [like Hitler], and that “appeasement” [like Chamberlain] will be of no use. He asks the PP to vote “no” to the motion of no confidence.
35. Abascal tells Sánchez that he will not repeat the list of measures that Sánchez said Vox has not proposed, that he should examine his conscience as well as reading the Pope's essays, and that if he does not like “Chinese virus”, we could call it “the Moncloa virus".
39. A gesture of political dignity or the partisan use of the victims of ETA terrorism? What are the families of those victims thinking, listening to Abascal, whether or not they support any of the political parties?
41. Abascal stops reciting the names of the ETA victims after a certain number and adds that they represent “1,000 more reasons for the motion of no confidence” tabled by his party, Vox. That clarifies, then, the party political use he has just made of them.
42. Longer version of Abascal's quote: “Write down these thousand more reasons for the motion of no confidence that we have tabled because we cannot accept in any way or fail to denounce that today the Government of Spain is held up by your votes [to Bildu]...”
46. Arrimadas, to Abascal: “indigiation and anger is not a political project”. She says she respects voters might feel like that, and that she can even share their sentiment, but that the Vox manifesto is not a plan to govern Spain that convinces her party.
49. We have moved up to 156,450 cases over 14 days, or 83,825 over 7 days, after that strange bump in the graph that coincides in time at least with the fight over the figures in Madrid and the imposition of the state of alarm in that Spanish region. 16,973 new cases today.
50. With over a million cases, with more than 100 deaths a day, I would prefer they spend two days discussing together how to get hold of FFP2 masks for everyone or how to do enough PCR tests to lower positivity to 5% across Spain, or how to hire more ICU doctors.
53. 12 x 350 MPs= 4,200 hours of parliamentary attention down the constitutional toilet. Perhaps the political class believes the spectacle of insults and sarcasm today in Congress has been useful, but I can't see how they have improved the situation of a single Spaniard.
54. Speaker Batet adjourns the session until the morning. Thank you for reading today. Tomorrow we will find out how Casado will reply to frame the PP on the right in the face of this useless Vox initiative.
100% readers. No ads, no spam, no political parties, no corporate sponsors. You guarantee this free journalism. Independent reporting, independent editorial choices and analysis, independent stories about Spain.
Independence. Journalism. Truth. Democracy.
Patrons column audio
Extra audio: ALL
Extra videos: ALL
Photo resolution: HIGH
Printed photos: 1/month
Patrons column audio
Extra audio: 2
Extra videos: 2
Photo resolution: HIGH
Printed photos: NO
Patrons column audio
Extra audio: 1
Extra videos: 1
Photo resolution: normal
Printed photos: NO
Want to guarantee journalism even more? Type your own amount into the box below. You can create groups of friends with any combination of the three main levels.
New guarantee: €
...multiple of 5 between 5 and 2,000
Which country do you pay taxes in?
Please log in first…
How does it work?
Click on the guarantee you wish to make
Make sure your tax country is correct
Enter your email address and credit card details
The server will check your card and do some sums…
Click "Guarantee journalism now"
That's it, done, welcome aboard, you will get a confirmation email
You can print receipts or invoices for all your contributions in "My Account"
Any problems or questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get The Spain Report by email
Get the articles straight in your email inbox. In English and/or Spanish. No ads, no spam, just reporting and analysis. Readers guarantee this journalism. Join them.
What is The Spain Report?
Independent reporting and analysis of the most important stories changing the country,
written by Matthew Bennett, a British journalist who has been living and working in Spain for most of the past 20 years.