Conservatives’ Bet on the Young

Politics - April 12, 2024


The Conservative VOX party (ECR) in Spain tapped Júlia Calvet for its lists in the upcoming Catalonia regional election.

Despite her young age, Calvet has rapidly become a leading voice in the ‘Constitutionalist’ movement against Catalan separatism, mobilising large masses against the unconstitutional independence pretensions of Catalonia’s separatist parties.

According to Calvet, “being a Constitutionalist today means being a revolutionary.”

Calvet thanked VOX president Santiago Abascal for his trust and for the opportunity to “save Catalonia.”

The young leader will join VOX’s Secretary General, Ignacio Garriga, the head of the list for the snap election; and other seasoned anti-independence leaders, like Juan Carlos Girauta, a long-time collaborator of VOX via its think thank Fundación Disenso.

Calvet is the former president of S’ha Acabat!, a “patriotic” Catalan civil society organisation that opposed the rule of the Catalan pro-independence parties.

She has said that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s placation to the whims of Catalan separatists is a “sellout” of the country.

“To him, staying in power is much more important than the Rule of Law and our national unity,” added Calvet.

VOX has long been following a pattern that relies on young and new political actors to bring large-scales issues to the national and international fore.

VOX’s speaker at the Spanish Parliament is 29-year-old María José “Pepa” Rodríguez de Millán Parro. A former Senator, Pepa is the leading voice of Conservatives and is the youngest of all parliamentary speakers in Congress.

In addition to Pepa, José María Figaredo, with 35 years is not only VOX’s Parliamentary Group Secretary General, but also the “economic guru” of the party.

Late last year, Figaredo led the international campaign VOX launched to fight the Amnesty for convicted Catalan separatists, a campaign also supported by Fundación Disenso.

Pepa and Figaredo have presented one of the most ambitious tax reforms in Spain’s democratic history. Not only does it denounce reckless spending on ideological-based (not need-based) institutions, like the Ministry of Equality, but it proposes a massive reduction of the fiscal burden of Spanish workers, while keeping social services intact.

The May election in Catalonia is sandwiched between the April Basque regional elections (where separatism is also looming strong) and the European elections in June.

The regional Catalan government, led by now acting president Perè Aragonés from the leftist and separatist Esquerra Republicana party, called for a snap election after failing to garner enough support for his proposed annual budget.

MEP Carles Puigdemont is set to make a return to Spain, should his Junts per Catalunya win a majority in the snap election. Puigdemont, however is wanted by the Spanish justice for his involvement in the 2017 seditionist events that included an illegal referendum and a unilateral declaration of independence of the Catalonia region.

The separatist threat is once again hovering in Spain. The Socialist Government’s unsavoury agreements with the separatist parties are making a government-backed independence referendum ever more likely, despite Pedro Sánchez’s refusal.

Aragonès himself has said publicly that “Sánchez did not use to agree with the Amnesty Law.” It was the Socialist Party that introduced the Amnesty bill in the Spanish Parliament.

The Amnesty Bill still needs to make its way through the rest of Spain’s complex parliamentary procedure to become the law of the land.

The opposition People’s Party (PP, EPP), which currently holds a majority in the Senate, has vowed to block the Amnesty bill in the upper house. However, the Spanish Congress can easily lift a Senate’s veto.

The Senate can only delay the process. It is VOX actions in the courts that have the largest chance of doing away with an Amnesty for separatists and seditionists (some accused of terrorism).