Santiago Abascal has had to face a week full of shocks and bad news for Vox just when the far-right party is trying to capitalize on the social discontent against the amnesty on the streets. His plans have been clouded in a few days in which Vox has had to accommodate several resignations and changes at the top; rupture and tensions in some of the governments that managed to close with other political formations after 28M, fundamentally with the PP; and a serious slap on the wrist from the Court of Accounts for the opacity of its income and irregularities regarding its financing and that of its related foundation, Disenso, to which, as elDiario.es has revealed, it has made million-dollar transfers. As if that were not enough, to all this we must add the rudeness of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who wants to avoid the photo with Abascal at all costs and has announced that he is not going to join the “great demonstration” that Denaes, the other Foundation linked Vox, has called for Sunday, October 29 in Madrid’s Plaza de Colón.
The leader of the PP, on the other hand, will be at the rally that will take place this Sunday in Barcelona, also against the amnesty, called by the Catalan Civil Society (SCC) in which the conservative leaders do not want to be seen with Vox despite having accepted their votes in the failed investiture of the candidate to preside over the Government. The friction between the two leaders and partners in several governments was already evident when Abascal found out that the PP was going to hold its own event in Madrid against Pedro Sánchez and his “secret” pacts with the independentists, just before the investiture debate of the popular. Abascal then urged Génova to clarify “in the next few hours” whether it was going to be a “party act” or an open civic mobilization against the amnesty. The PP leadership soon dispelled doubts: it was a party rally that anyone who wanted could join. No Vox leader responded to the call. However, during his speech, Feijóo had kind words towards the extreme right to which he thanked for their generous and “selfless” support. But the duel between the two parties to see who wins that ‘story’ on the street continues.
The failed investiture was the prelude to Vox’s worst week, which began on Monday when the Court of Accounts published its annual report, in which it analyzes the expenses and income of political parties and foundations linked to them. This report reveals that there is “uncertainty” regarding 332,548.09 euros that Vox deposited through ATMs. The supervisory body expresses its doubts there about whether part of said income “corresponds to donations and not the sale of products”, as Vox justifies, which would violate the party financing law “as possible donors have not been identified.”
The millionaire transfers to Disenso and changes in management
At the same time, elDiario.es revealed that the far-right party had transferred seven million in four years to the Disenso foundation, chaired by Abascal himself. Given all this accumulation of disturbing information about Vox’s income and expenses – which adds to previous suspicions – the party’s general secretary, Ignacio Garriga, sent a letter to members to reassure them. In his statement, Garriga calls the information published in the media “veiled manipulations and false accusations intended to sow suspicion on the Foundation” and accuses the press of “trying to put an end to this social and patriotic movement that is Vox.” and to return to the two-party system.”
But it is now known that the party manager, the Catalan deputy Juan José Aizcorbe, has left office. According to sources from the party, Aizcorbe communicated his intention to leave this summer, but the truth is that his resignation has come to light in the middle of a week marked by suspicions about the party’s accounts, as El País reported this Friday. As usual, Vox has rushed to release a new statement to make some ‘points’. Aizcorbe himself also responded to the requests of this editorial office, although hours after asking him about his situation: “I am watching the news that is being published in disbelief and I can’t believe it. I pass on the statement that adjusts to reality and to which I refer,” he noted. In this statement the party says: “Juan José Aizcorbe, manager of the party since 2019, will continue with control and oversight functions in the Management Committee, reporting to the Treasurer of the party, a work that will be compatible with his act as deputy for Barcelona, reinforcing his role. in the Congress of Deputies.” But in the next line he clarifies that “Juan José Aizcorbe, who enjoys the maximum confidence of the party leadership and also the maximum gratitude from them, agreed months ago to reduce his workload and appoint a new manager…”. That is to say, it is confirmed that the position is no longer held by the deputy for Barcelona. Javier Cortés, deputy in the Andalusian Parliament, has been appointed in his place.
Another of the party’s denials is the alleged resignation of Marta Castro as head of legal advice. In the same statement Vox also points out that “nothing has changed in his functions since a year ago, with the changes in the General Secretariat, Jorge Buxadé assumed the coordination of the entire legal area of the party, which includes Castro’s legal advice and the issues related to electoral law.” Such a decision reinforces the control and immense internal power that the MEP and national spokesperson for Vox is accumulating, architect of the purges on the electoral list of the last general elections of 23J, which was one of the triggers for the notorious departure of Iván Espinosa de los Monteros – who continues to hold meetings with the critical sector of the party –, which was followed by the resignation of Juan Luis Steegmann from his positions in the national leadership of Vox and to pick up the deputy’s certificate that the until then spokesperson left free.
Marta Castro took charge of the judicial machinery of the far-right party at a delicate moment: April 2019, according to informa Alberto Pozas. The trial of the process, one of Vox’s great political assets, was facing its final phase with Santiago Abascal and Javier Ortega Smith appearing before the media daily in an unprecedented media showcase for the far-right party. He was also at the helm of its legal department when, with the arrival of the pandemic, Vox took its strategy to the Constitutional Court and added its two most notable victories: the annulment of the two states of alarm.
Castro, who went from sharing the judicial focus with Macarena Olona to being the visible face of the party in the courts, also reaped resounding failures that Vox avoided spreading, such as the non-admission for processing of half a dozen complaints against members of the coalition executive or failed appeals. against the Celaá education law, the Rider law or the euthanasia law, among others. After the electoral setback on July 23, furthermore, Vox has lost the possibility of presenting this type of appeal on its own.
Forum breaks the pact with Vox in Gijón
Added to all this are the open crises in some of the governments that Vox closed after 28M with other political forces, mainly with the PP. One of them in Gijón where Foro Asturias has thrown the extreme right out of the Government just four months after having closed an agreement there. The mayor, Carmen Moriyón, announced the expulsion of Santiago Abascal’s party from the municipal executive, which both parties also shared with the Popular Party, for trying to “politicize” the Film Festival.
The trigger was a statement by the Vox Councilor for Celebrations, Sara Álvarez Rouco, in which she announced modifications within the Xixón International Film Festival (FICX) with the creation of a new award “without ideological biases and partisanship”, which will reward the best “solutions” for “the social crisis” that, according to Abascal’s party, our country is suffering. Solutions that, in Rouco’s words, must be framed in values such as “work, effort and respect for others, which are currently absent.” However, for Moriyón, her statements are not “up to par with a city like Gijón” and “they attack the tolerance that has always characterized and will continue to characterize the city.” After the breakup of the coalition, the far-right party in turn counterattacked by calling for the councilor’s resignation. The PSOE of Gijon, which won the elections there, interprets this breach of the pact between Foro and Vox as “electoral fraud.”
Crisis in Extremadura with Guardiola’s PP
But Vox has also seen this week tighten the rope in the pact it closed in Extremadura with the PP. Both formations have not yet even celebrated their first 100 days of government, whose birth was marked by the strong resistance put up from the beginning by the regional president, María Guardiola. “I cannot let into government those who deny sexist violence, those who use the broad stroke, those who are dehumanizing immigrants and those who unfurl a tarp and throw an LGTBI flag in the trash,” she stated. His blunt statement ruined the first negotiations to close the coalition and was accompanied by other pearls in reference to Vox, such as that they were “incapable of seeing beyond their navel”, or that their measures were “obsolete”, while they He accused him of “putting his arrogance before the interests of the people of Extremadura” and of making “trips.” Despite everything, Guardiola was forced by Génova to close the agreement, ceding the Ministry of Forest Management to Camino Limia, the only portfolio held by Vox. This Thursday Limia announced his resignation for “personal reasons.” She will be replaced by another Vox leader, Ignacio Higuero de Juan, closely linked to the countryside and the hunting sector.
The truth is that the relationships have never been good. In fact, the Extremaduran president has not missed the opportunity to criticize her partners. In the first interviews she gave to local media, she distanced herself from Vox, with whom she also claimed to have no relationship. Abascal’s party responded to the contempt with an ultimatum to Guardiola: either he rectified or “otherwise, what he is going to have is a weak Government or it may be that he does not have a Government at all,” said the spokesperson for the Congress of Deputies. party, Pepa Millán. Vox is still in the Extremaduran Government, what nobody knows is for how long.