Politics 10/02/2021

The lies of Vox in the campaign

The extreme right bases much of its narrative on falsehoods and biased statements

ALEIX MOLDES / CESC MAIDEU
3 min
The leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, at a party event in Figueres.

BarcelonaAll the polls point to the irruption of the extreme right in Parliament in the next legislature. In this article we review some of the lies with which the party will reach the Catalan chamber.

The big concerns

They say these are insecurity and immigration

Immigration was the main concern of Catalans in 2005 -according to the CEO-, coinciding with the time of great population growth. Today it is the eleventh concern of Catalans and only 0.9% place it in first place. Citizen insecurity is the thirteenth. In fact, over the past year, and partly as a result of lockdowns, violent robberies fell by 28%, and thefts, 46%.

No political freedom

They claim that they don't have it, but they want to outlaw other parties

In Catalonia "there is no political freedom", the argument of Vox emphasizes, a party that has among its proposals to outlaw pro-independence parties.

Victimism

They say that the Generalitat instigates the violence in their events

Vox assures that the Generalitat "promotes" violence against them and that the JEC has confirmed it. What the JEC did in January was to give a warning to the Office of Civil and Political Rights of the Government for having violated the principle of neutrality, in no case for promoting violence. The controversial letter, posted on Twitter, said: "Protesting effectively and peacefully against the philo-fascist extreme right is possible and necessary".

Recount after 48 hours

They say there is no precedent "in the history of democracy"

It would be "extremely serious" and "unprecedented in the history of democracy" to know the results of the elections after 48 hours. Certainly in Catalonia we are not accustomed to this, with a count that is usually quick. Other democracies, on the other hand, take much longer. If not, just ask the citizens of the United States.

Suspension of rallies

Theoretically they had given them up because of the pandemic

In several interviews, the Vox candidate, Ignacio Garriga, had assured that they would not hold campaign rallies due to the pandemic situation. Beyond the walks through markets and squares - that the rest of the parties had pledged not to do -, the far right makes face-to-face rallies, like the one of Santiago Abascal in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat three days ago, with about 200 people and without keeping any distance measures.

Bots on Twitter

They all have a grandmother who had always voted socialist

It is not the only party that uses bots to multiply its message on social networks. Recently one of them was discovered in which "their grandmother -the one of all the bots, and also the one of certain candidates- had always voted socialist" but this time she would vote for Vox.

Islamization of the country

They talk about the "reconquest" as if they were referring to the Middle Ages

Islam is a danger to Spanishness, Vox says. That is why they speak of the "Islamisation of Catalonia" when they want to emphasise the fact that it is the autonomous region with the highest percentage of Muslims, some 560,000 (7.5% of the population), 40% of whom have Spanish nationality. The trap comes when Islam is mixed with terrorism as if they went hand in hand. "Islamic fundamentalism in Catalonia runs freely thanks to separatism", Garriga and Abascal believe, without making distinctions. The ultra-right also criticises the fact that neighbourhoods with a lot of immigration are "multicultural dunghills".

Unaccompanied minors

They falsify criminal data to criminalize immigrants

Not only do they speak of unaccompanied minors as "criminals" who "steal and rape", but they also complain that it is "everyone's taxes that support them". Both when they are minors and when they become 18, the aid received by this group is the same as the young people who are under guardianship of the Generalitat, whatever their nationality. As for delinquency, Twitter suspended Vox's account for stating that "they represent 0.2% of the population and 93% of the complaints", referring to people from Maghreb. According to data from Idescat, the Maghribi population represents 3% and, as RTVE verified, the statistics of the INE accounts for 13% of complaints against people of all African nationalities. 56% of those denounced are Spanish.

Hijacked institutions

They claim the "recovery" of the Generalitat

In their story, the Generalitat is "kidnapped by secessionism". The reality is that, so far, the pro-independence forces have won a majority in Parliament in the elections and, therefore, they are in Government.

Expulsion of the Castilian language

They assure that with the Celaá law, the language will disappear from schools

The confusion with respect to the language that is used in Catalan schools is not a Vox monopoly, but they do mention it an awful lot in their rallies. According to Garriga, the Celaá law "will legalize what the Generalitat was perpetrating illegally: expelling Spanish from your children's classrooms". Neither linguistic immersion was illegal, nor the Celaá law expels Spanish from the classrooms: both confirm Catalan as the vehicular language.

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