Taking advantage of its new-found national relevance, less than a year after first entering the Congress, the Spanish far-right is dictating the terms of the public debate on the conservative side of the political spectrum. Over the weekend, it was plans in Murcia to allow parents to remove their children from lessons if they didn't like the subjects under discussion. Now it's plans to ban pro-independence parties.
The party's leader, Santiago Abascal, today submitted a draft bill to the Congress to amend the law on political parties to make any in favour of independence illegal. The measure could affect ERC, JxCat and CUP from Catalonia, EH Bildu and PNV from the Basque Country, and BNG from Galicia, among others.
The initiative comes two months after they managed to get a non-binding motion through the Madrid Assembly urging for the step to be taken. On that occasion, the idea was supported by PP and Ciudadanos. Neither party has yet announced how they will vote this time.
In a press conference in the Congress, Abascal said their intention is to ban "all parties which aim for the destruction of national unity". He added it's a step towards banning all parties which don't explicitly express respect for the Spanish Constitution in their statutes.
Under the bill registered by Vox, "a political party will be declared illegal when its activity violates democratic principles, particularly when in so doing it seeks to damage or destroy the regime of freedoms or make impossible or eliminate the democratic system, as well as when it seeks to damage or destroy national sovereignty or the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation."
"It's not only a question of ideological proclamations, but also repeated and systematic actions which have already merited the most sever sanctions of the national, constitutional and ordinary legislation," they argue.