Speculation Rises on Former EP Vicepresident’s Attempted Murder

Uncategorized - December 14, 2023

It has been more a month since the conservative politician, Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face, right in the middle of Madrid city centre.

The attack happened just hours after the Socialist Party (PSOE, S&D) signed its amnesty deal with the fugitive former leader of the Catalonia region, Carles Puigdemont.

There is still no clear answer about who was behind the attack.

Vidal Quadra’s attempted assassination shocked Spaniards and the European community. Spain had not seen this type of political-based violence since the days of activity of the ETA terrorist group, observers say.

Much speculation has surfaced around Vidal-Quadra’s attempted murder. The Spanish authorities have not ruled out this being a potential case of terrorism in European soil.

To comply with national criminal regulations, the National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) declared Vidal-Quadras’ case a “secret” investigation because of its sensitive and political nature.

And it is no wonder his assassination attempt caused so much shock in Spain. Vidal-Quadras had—until the day he was shot—a high-activity political life, despite not serving in any official public role for years.

The attempt also occurred amid a highly tense political atmosphere, with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s reelection debate in Parliament just around the corner.

The Catalan politician was one of the founders of the Conservative party Vox (ECR). Vidal-Quadras also served as the top Partido Popular (PP, EPP) figure in Catalonia, and was vice president of the European Parliament.

The top leadership of both Vox and PP condemned the heinous attempt.

The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola said “This house is shocked to hear that former member and vice president of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, was shot in Spain in what can only be described as a brutal and cowardly act of violence”.

All the chamber applauded her statement in solidarity with the hospitalised Vidal-Qaudras, except for the S&D Group led by the Spanish MEP Iratxe García.

In the days leading to the assassination attempt, Vidal-Quadras had been increasingly critical of the negotiations between the PSOE and Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya separatist party.

Moments before the attack he posted on ‘X’: “the infamous pact between Sánchez and Puigdemont has already been agreed.”

According to Vidal-Quadras, a Catalan himself, said the deal between PSOE and Junts “crushes the Rule of Law”.

The deal “ends the separation of powers” and pushes Spain to the brink of a “totalitarian tyranny”.

The deal with Puigdemont gave Sánchez enough active favourable votes to be reelected premier on November 16.

Leaks from the official investigation point to at least two theories about who is behind the attack.

One leads to Morocco, but it has been overshadowed by the Iranian theory. Observers say the Tehran regime might have orchestrated the attack.

Vidal-Quadras is a staunch supporter of the Iranian opposition. He has a close relationship with the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

During his recovery at Madrid’s Gregorio Marañón hospital, Vidal-Quadras pointed fingers at Iran. He said they “plotted and executed” his assassination attempt.

The hitman was identified as a French national of Tunisian origin. His potential links to Iran are not clear. According to reports, after leaving Spain to Portugal he fled to a North African country. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The Spanish National Police detained at least two other suspects as part of the murder-probe. The plot had allegedly been planned months in advance.

It is not clear yet if the Iran regime was behind the assassination attempt. According to analysts, however, this is not a lone-wolf case, but part of a more elaborate (potentially international) plot.

As the year nears to its end, the Spanish and European communities are demanding those responsible to be held accountable.