Spain: Prosecutors Investigating Populists for Comparing Spending on Migrants to Spending on Pensioners

Migrants stand near a warehouse where they lived in squalid conditions with up to 200 migr
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Spanish populist party VOX is being investigated over a campaign poster that compares monthly spending on migrant minors to monthly spending on Spanish pensioners.

The poster, which was launched ahead of the May 4th elections in Madrid, claims “A [migrant minor], €4,700 [£4,080/$5,670] per month, your grandmother, a €426 [£370/$514] pension per month” and shows a picture of an elderly woman and a young man with his face covered by a scarf and wearing a hoodie.

The Madrid prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday that it would be opening an investigation on the grounds of incitement to hatred after receiving several complaints about the posters, including from the socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Le Figaro reports.

UNICEF, Save the Children, and Caritas also released a joint statement condemning the posters and stating they were “fake news” and “hate speech”.

Spanish broadcaster RTVE claimed that the figures presented in the poster are false and misleading as the minor migrants are not given a cash payment of €4,700, but noted the figures did come from a study showing the total costs of migrant minors that included their housing and other expenses.


Similar figures have been seen in France, where migrant minors were reported in 2019 to be costing French taxpayer around €2 billion (£1.74bn/$2.41bn) per year, with each migrant costing the French state around €50,000 (£43,500/$60,300) per year, or around €4,166 (£3,620/$5,030) a month, on average.

The Spanish poster campaign comes just weeks after the leader of VOX, Santiago Abascal, was attacked during a rally in the Vallecas area of Madrid while giving a speech.

Far-left extremists attacked VOX politicians and their supporters with rocks and other projectiles, with at least 35 people injured during clashes at the event, including 21 police officers.

Abascal spoke out against violence again this week after another rally was attacked in Navalcarnero and called on Spanish police to protect his party members and supporters.

“Tonight I will assess whether, in what is left of the campaign, we encourage our supporters to defend us from aggression if the police do not intervene to protect our people and stop the assailants,” Abascal said on Twitter.


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


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