Italian MEP Vincenzo Sofo, Hungarian MEP Balázs Hidvéghi, and Spanish MEP Jorge Buxadé holding a joint press conference.
Spain’s socialist government faced harsh criticism at the European Parliament’s plenary debate entitled “Protecting the Rule of Law against Impunity in Spain” on Wednesday.
According to Deutsche Welle, it was the main Spanish opposition force, the center-right People’s Party (PP) that demanded the debate. In the run-up to this year’s parliamentary elections in Spain – the date has not been announced yet – the PP wants to put international pressure on Pedro Sánchez’s government. According to the latest polls, the center-right’s support is 32.3 percent, while 25.9 percent would vote for the governing PSOE. The big question will be which one of them manages to persuade more coalition partners. The Spanish political scene is being shaken up by the right-wing, sovereigntist, anti-immigration VOX party, which is currently Spain’s third strongest party with a steady 15 percent support.
VOX is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists and a close ally of Hungary’s governing Fidesz party. The MEPs of the Spanish party always take the Hungarian government’s side in the regular rule of law debates in the European Parliament. This time, Spain was on the agenda and Fidesz MEPs Balázs Hidvéghi and Enikő Győri also took the floor.
According to Hidvéghi, the socialist Spanish government has been taking steps for years that raise concerns about the rule of law.
Interestingly, no rule of law proceeding is initiated against Spain, nor do they want to withdraw EU funds from Spain. Simply because there is a left-wing government in power that is willing to accept all kinds of crazy ideas and ideologies from Brussels,”
he said, adding that “the same rules shall apply to everyone.”
Győri emphasized that “the Sánchez government is playing to the extreme Left, and its program consists of dismantling the rule of law and freedoms, interfering with private life, and threatening the everyday security of Spaniards.” “It is outrageous that the socialist Spanish government uses EU recovery funds in a non-transparent manner while blackmailing the Commission into withholding EU money from Hungary,” she added.
According to VOX MEP Jorge Buxadé, in Spain, “there is no independent judicial council, a former socialist minister has been appointed constitutional judge, and there are no objections to the neutrality of judges.” “Pedro Sánchez has made Spain a country of impunity, where the victim is humiliated and the perpetrator is acquitted,” he added.
The problematic measures of the Spanish government include “the election of former members of the current government as members of the Constitutional Court, the reform of the Criminal Code to benefit the government’s parliamentary allies, and the refusal to make the General Council of the Judiciary independent from the Executive as requested by European standards,” according to the European People’s Party.
Featured photo via Facebook/Hidvéghi Balázs