Iglesias-Vox clash over bullet threats ends election debate prematurely
"Leave, that's what many Spaniards are wishing for," Monasterio told him
MadridHigh tension in the electoral debate organized by Cadena Ser with the candidates for the elections in the Community of Madrid - except that of the PP, Isabel Díaz Ayuso-, which has ended prematurely due to the abandonment of the leaders of the left after the confrontation between Pablo Iglesias and Vox over the threats with bullets that the leader of Podemos received by letter. Iglesias has already warned this morning that if Vox did not condemn the threats with bullets that he received by letter he would not share space with the candidate of the far-right party, Rocío Monasterio, who, far from expressing solidarity with Iglesias, has questioned him.
During the debate she has stated that she condemns "all kinds of violence" but has not retracted her previous words and has challenged the leader of Podemos: "If you are so brave, leave, that is what the Spaniards want". The Podemos leader left, warning the moderator, Àngels Barceló, that she was "making the mistake of whitewashing the extreme right" if she allowed Monasterio to continue in the debate. The journalist tried to convince Iglesias to stay, without success, and the programme continued. After an hour and a pause, the PSOE candidate, Ángel Gabilondo, said he hoped Iglesias would return and that he could not "tolerate that hatred imposes itself on democracy". "I will leave this place and I ask citizens to go and vote", he said. Right after, the candidate of Más Madrid, Mónica García, agreed that she would not continue "one more minute" and it became clear that the debate was coming to an end.
In an interview on RNE this morning, Monasterio said that Iglesias' issues are "little believed" by her. "He has vilely deceived us", said the Vox candidate, and said that when Spaniards "see something from Iglesias they question it". The Unidas Podemos candidate had already warned in an interview with TVE this morning that if Monasterio did not make a correction, he would not debate with her. It was the first issue that Barceló put on the table: the candidate for Más Madrid, Mónica García, regretted that "hateful attitudes" were being "normalised" and that "a deterioration of coexistence" was taking place. When it was Monasterio's turn, she reiterated that she condemned "all types of violence", but pointed out that she would have liked Iglesias to have condemned what happened at a Vox event in Vallecas during the pre-campaign.
The person involved warned that he did not think this was an appropriate response, put on his mask, got up and left. Several parallel conversations took place: Barceló asked Iglesias to stay, while the PSOE candidate, Ángel Gabilondo, reproached Monasterio for his "provocative" attitude. "Can you do something worthy in your life?", García was heard to have said to her. Barceló has asked Iglesias not to go "too far" and has confronted Monasterio, who has asked her, "Are you an activist?". "I am a democrat", the journalist replied, stressing that celebrating Iglesias' departure was an "anti-democratic attitude". "We are better off now", the far-right candidate insisted.
The Cs candidate, Edmundo Bal, had not yet spoken, and expressed "condemnation without any nuance" and stressed that he did not question the fact that this "is a coercion of the exercise of fundamental rights". Bal showed that he had his answer ready when he then recalled that 14 years ago two members of the ERC youth group sent a bullet in an envelope to the former president of the orange party, Albert Rivera. "And of course I also condemn the violence in Vallecas", he added.