The Brief: Spain's far-right paradox

The Brief: Spain's far-right paradox
By Ana Lazaro
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The Brief: Spain's far-right paradox


In these greenhouses of the south of Spain the extreme right has taken root.

We are in El Ejido, a town of 90,000 inhabitants where almost a third of the population are immigrants.

They are the ones who work the fields, in 40 degrees heat in the summer....

El Ejido has become rich thanks to cheap migrant labour. But this does not protect them from animosity.

"There is a total hypocrisy because if suddenly migrants return to their countries, they will have to look for other workers, because this field needs labor as we have it now, low skilled, to be able to make profits," says Spitou Mendi from the Field Workers' Union.

The rejection of this migrant population explains to a large extent the success of Vox. Here, the far-right party won the recent regional elections with 29% of the vote.

A result that worries the neighborhood of Las Norias, where a large part of foreign population lives. Lola Losada, a Spanish woman, married to a Moroccan, is worried about future.

"There are times when coexistence is difficult, there is a great disparity of opinions". For this woman these results will be "the ruin of Spain and its youth," says Lola Losada.

The tension arises precisely between the humblest classes, who denounce that certain public services such as health or education are saturated ... They endorse the message of the far right: "the Spaniards first".

The city council recognizes that it is necessary to work for integration.

"We have a limited capacity and at this moment it is true that we are having some problems, for example schooling children close to their houses. It is necesary to work much more on inmigration. We did not take it seriosly enough," Francisco Gongora, Mayor of El Ejido.

But this is also a vote of punishment towards the traditional parties, as explained by this voter of Vox.

"We feel disappointed, abandoned by the regional government. They have been in command for 36 years and they only remember us in Almería when the elections arrive," remakrs Manolo Lopez.

Other arguments that have given wings to the extreme right are Catalan independence ... Or the space that has been given to feminist demands.

It was said that Spain was vaccinated against the extreme right after 40 years of dictatorship under Franco, it was also said to be the European exception, but the Andalusian elections have shown otherwise. Vox will re-measure its forces shortly, in the European elections.

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