The Spanish far right has now got a party presenting itself as such, openly calls for the suppression of the autonomous communities and a single parliament and is in favour of the large-scale deportation of immigrants. And, what's more, it does so filling Madrid's Palacio de Vistalegre arena, in which some 10,000 people can fit quite comfortably. Vox has enough money to follow in the wake of parties like Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement national (formerly Front national) and the inspiration of parties which have now got more than 15% of the vote in countries like Hungary, Poland, Austria, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.
The emergence of Vox is bad news for Pablo Casado's PP and Albert Rivera's Cs, clearly listing to the far right with the intention of stoppering the appearance of a new political party in their electoral territory. PP and Cs have sacrificed their centrist electorates to prevent Vox taking flight, but it seems ever more inevitable that the far right will have its own official party in Spain. There's not even any difference in the three parties' slogans in public events. Today's "a por ellos"1 in Vistalegre is also heard at the events Ciudadanos organises in Catalonia and will accompany the PP government of Mariano Rajoy for ever.
It's not enough in Spain in 2018 to call for the banning of pro-independence parties and to support the coup d'état against the Catalan institutions to forge your way among the Spanish right. That's not enough for Vox, as Casado and Rivera are there every day that passes, with that rhetoric inappropriate for a modern right-wing party and a modern liberal party. Spain is getting into a debate which is already active in Europe and which puts the questions of immigration and the expulsion of its citizens on the front line of the internal political debate. And which, when taken into the electoral arena, is extremely dangerous.
Translator's note: 1. A por ellos, "go get 'em", was notably chanted by members of the Spanish public last year waving off police officers heading to Catalonia ahead of the independence referendum.