THE LEADER of Spain’s far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal, has sparked outrage after saying that ‘the time will come when people will want to hang [Spanish Prime Minister] Pedro Sanchez by his feet’.
The politician made the controversial statement while on a visit to Argentina, where he had been personally invited by Javier Milei to attend the latter’s inauguration as the South American country’s new president.
While on his visit to Buenos Aires, Abascal held a meeting with President Milei, as well as Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of the former president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, an ultra-conservative politician, and Viktor Orban, the far-right prime minister of Hungary.
“Pedro Sanchez is not as cunning and slick as people think,” Abascal told the Argentine daily Clarin. “A politician who has no scruples has a competitive advantage over honest politicians. […] I have principles. I cannot sell out. Sanchez has none. […] There will be a time when the people will want to hang him by his feet.”
Representatives from Sanchez’s Socialist Party were quick to react. “Violence is the opposite of democracy,” wrote government spokesperson Pilar Alegría on social network X (formerly Twitter). “A democrat can only condemn such barbarity.”
“Every incident of hatred is preceded by discourse that legitimises such violence,” wrote minister for the Spanish presidency, Felix Bolaños. “Vox crossed these red lines some time ago. Anything to say, Nuñez Feijóo, Partido Popular?”
Bolaños was inviting a response from the leader of Spain’s conservative Partido Popular (PP), Alberto Nuñez Feijoo.
In recent years, the PP has reached a series of governing deals around the country with Vox on both the local and regional level, and had been expected to form a national government after the July 23 general election. In the end, however, the two parties fell short of a majority paving the way for a repeat of a Socialist-led administration.
Feijoo did, in fact, respond to Abascal’s comments on Monday. When asked for a reaction during a television interview on the Telecinco network, the PP leader condemned the statements and said that his party had also done so ‘as soon as they became aware of them’.
He added, however, that such comments from Abascal ‘are in line with those of Prime Minister Sanchez, who wants to build a wall in Spain, a wall between the two Spains’.
“I believe this plays into the strategy of Sanchez and the Socialists to divide Spain through a wall built from the government, which also seems to be interested in using Vox to continue to build this wall,” he added.