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Santiago Abascal: Vox party leader accuses police of allowing violence during election campaign

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By Euronews  with AP
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal has intensifed campaigning ahead of next week's Catalonia election.
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal has intensifed campaigning ahead of next week's Catalonia election.   -   Copyright  Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Pool via AP

The leader of Spain's Vox party has accused the authorities of allowing "attacks" on politicians during recent campaigning in Catalonia.

Santiago Abascal said that fruit, eggs, and stones were thrown at him during Sunday's rally in Salt, Girona, ahead of this month's election.

Abascal accused the Interior Ministry of the Generalitat, responsible for the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalonia's police squad), of not taking action on those responsible for throwing the objects and has threatened to take the Catalan Minister of the Interior to court.

"They use violence because it has been unpunished and has been rewarded in Spain," he stated during his campaign rally.

In a video uploaded to Twitter, the Vox party leader was also filmed confronting the head operative of the Mossos at the rally.

″Are you going to continue allowing this?" Abascal asked before the agent replied that the authorities were "intervening".

Vox party have also alleged that their supporters were harassed by pro-independence supporters at a similar rally in the city of Vic. The Mossos have not commented publically on the incidents.

On Twitter, more than 10,000 tweets have been shared since the incident using the hashtag #VoxLivesMatter, a reference to the global social justice movement Black Lives Matter.

However, many users have flooded the hashtag with images of Korean pop music, or "K-pop", in an apparent effort to drown out far-right voices.

Political campaigning in Catalonia has intensified despite uncertainty due to continual high coronavirus infection rates in the region.

Parties have been permitted to hold rallies ahead of the February 14 vote with reduced attendance, mask-wearing, and social distancing requirements.

Salvador Illa, Spain's former health minister in charge of the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is regarded as the frontrunner to become Catalonia's next regional president.