Spanish Populist Leader Blames EU Plot for Getting Salvini out of Govt

Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain's far-right party VOX, gives a speech during a campaign meeting ahead of regional elections in Andalusia, on November 26, 2018 in Granada. - With a tough line on immigration and Catalan separatism, Spain's tiny far-right party VOX is starting to make waves and could win …

Populist VOX leader Santiago Abascal has blamed the European Union for putting pressure on Italy and pushing Matteo Salvini out of the government.

Abascal, who recently attended an event in Italy held by the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) alongside guests such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, said that he believed Brussels had pushed to get rid of Salvini to keep cheap migrant labour flowing into Europe, Il Giornale reports.

“Spain and Italy have common borders and the Spanish and Italians share the concern to protect their borders from the migratory invasions caused by European oligarchies flooding our countries with cheap labour,” Abascal said.

“It is clear that Minister Salvini was the victim of what he had denounced for 18 months, that Italians are less and less the masters of their destiny, which once again was decided between Brussels and Strasbourg,” he added.

“I find it particularly shameful that for this operation against Italian sovereignty, a boat with the Spanish flag, the Open Arms, was used. And for this I apologised to Italy in the name of all the Spaniards from the Chamber of Deputies,” he said.

Salvini, who was still interior minister at the time, had told the Spanish NGO it could not dock at an Italian port in August, telling the vessel to go to Spain instead. Despite this, over 80 migrants were brought into Italian territory only days later.

Following the failed negotiations to form a working coalition government, Spain once again faces a new election in November.

Abascal commented on the prospects for VOX saying: “I am convinced that in the upcoming general elections on November 10th, Vox will consolidate its presence in the Spanish parliament, where we have proven to be the only alternative to progressive policies imposed by the left and approved of by the right.”

Noting VOX’s 50,000 person membership, Abascal said there was little to differentiate the main establishment parties in Spain saying they had become “increasingly difficult to differentiate, so it would be perfectly understandable if they ran together in the elections”.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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