July 20, 2024 | 12:10

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Vox sees danger in SALF

Jeickson Sulbaran

June 13, 2024 | 11:28 a.m.

The emergence of Alvise Pérez in the European Parliament challenges the extreme right

The recent emergence of Alvise Pérez and his platform of voters, The Party is Over (SALF), in the European Parliament has generated a great stir within Vox. In just one month, Pérez managed to mount his candidacy through a Telegram channel with more than half a million followers, obtaining 800.000 votes and three seats, mainly at the expense of Vox.

Vox's initial reaction was surprise and confusion, but they quickly chose to reach out to Pérez to avoid having him as a rival.. Jorge Buxadé, Vox candidate, was the first to welcome them, ensuring that if the SALF deputies choose to join the group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), he will receive them “with a hug.” Rocío Monasterio, spokesperson for Vox in the Madrid Assembly, also referred to SALF as “an ally” and not as an “adversary,” highlighting that they share the same objective of “evicting Sánchez from Moncloa.”

Vox sees danger in SALF

At SALF, however, they keep their distance. Although they admit that Pérez tried to talk to Abascal on election night to “congratulate” him without success, they assure that there are no formal conversations. They have not yet decided which of the two far-right groups the three deputies led by Pérez, who have adopted a large part of Vox's ideology, will join.

Vox's surprise at Pérez's emergence is based on the lack of infrastructure and traditional support that SALF has had, contrasting with Abascal's consolidated party.

In 2019, Vox won four seats in the European Parliament, and this Sunday he got two more. However, SALF, in its debut, obtained three minutes, surpassing Podemos and Junts in votes, and placing itself close to Sumar in percentage of the vote. Alvise Pérez, former advisor to Toni Cantó, achieved his best result in Andalusia, being the fourth force with 6,2% of the votes.

Perez's plans include converting SALF andn a “non-standard” political party and hold its first constituent assembly soon. They do not yet have a defined program, but they assure that their focus is on “facts, not programs, not empty promises.” Furthermore, they differ from Vox in that they will not attack LGTBI groups or denigrate equality policies, although they send constant messages against feminism.

Despite the electoral hangover, SALF does not want to confront Vox

Pérez maintained strong ties with Vox after leaving his job at Ciudadanos, but distanced himself during the pandemic due to friction and disagreements. Currently, he maintains good relations with some Vox leaders, having met with Iván Espinosa de los Monteros during the campaign.

The commitment of Alvise and the other two SALF MEPs is to “resign” to collect salaries as European deputies and subsidies to which they are entitled, donating the money once they reach the European Parliament. On the SALF table is also the possibility of running for office in the general elections, seeking to become the “key” to a possible right-wing government of the PP and Vox.

The emergence of SALF and its unexpected success have shaken the Spanish political landscape, forcing Vox to rethink its strategies. The future of far-right politics in Spain appears to be at stake, with new actors and alliances that could redefine the balance of power in the next elections.

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