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The announcement by Spanish parties the Partido Popular (PP) and Vox that they are to form a joint government in the autonomous community of Castilla y León marks the debut in society of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who is shortly to become the new president of Spain's main party of the right. With undeserved fame as a centrist —in Spain, when the right finds a politician willing to talk, those on the other ideological shore apply the label of centrist, as happened before with Mariano Rajoy— Feijóo has taken a step which we will never know if Pablo Casado would have done: setting a European precedent, he has made Castilla y León the first region in which the extreme right will form part of the governing cabinet. The agreement with the PP grants Vox the speaker's role in the legislative assembly and a more than symbolic presence in the government, since members of the far right party will hold the position of vice president and three ministries.

The response of the European People's Party (EPP) has been immediate, since its doctrine is unequivocal: cordon sanitaire against the extreme right, even at the cost of losing regional governments. The reaction of EPP president Donald Tusk was to declare from Brussels that the agreement had been "a sad surprise", that he hoped it would be an accident or an incident. And Tusk underlined the value of Pablo Casado's refusal to enter into governments with Vox in contrast to Feijóo's cold reaction, arguing that he saw the pact as perfectly legitimate. I dealt with Feijóo in the first years of his arrival at the Galician presidency, in 2009, and the image that has been built around him has been especially benevolent in two aspects: the one already mentioned, locating him as a potential centrist, and as well, his animosity to conflict, something from which he flees whenever he can, like a scalded cat. It is easy to do that in Santiago, since what happens there is not of general interest, but he will not be able to continue following that line in Madrid, where an enemy awaits him at every corner; that is, a party colleague.

The arrival of Vox in the government of a Spanish autonomous region, with the enormous impact that would have at any time, but especially so at present, is a mistake. And it will be difficult for the PP to explain it in Europe, where these things are not easily understood. There, the norms are much more straightforward and they are applied to the letter: there is a cordon sanitaire limiting the extreme right and it must be preserved at all costs. The fact that the PSOE has played its game with an exclusively electoral outlook, leaving the PP just one option if it wanted its support in Castilla y León, which would have meant breaking any agreement it had with the extreme right anywhere, does not make the Socialists complicit in the PP's decision, but it does show how narrow the latitude is between the two historic Spanish parties when it comes to dealing with the rise of the extreme right. The polls continue to give increasingly higher figures to Vox, with options to obtain 20% of the votes. In fact, most surveys place Vox as the force that would grow the most in a future Spanish general election.

The fact that the Spanish right is, to a large extent, sociologically Francoist, and for it to have no qualms about showing it, and for its cheerleaders in the print media —ABC, La Razón and El Mundo— to often seem like newspapers engaged in a contest to see who can be most closely aligned with the extreme right, will serve to hold up a portrait of Spain that is more in line with reality. When it is stated that Spain is not a full democracy it is also because of things like this. How can the fox be given the job of looking after the chickens? They want to put an end to the autonomous communities, but they fight to take over the existing positions of power within them, shamelessly and with total impunity. This is not good news for the already fragile​ Spanish democracy.