SPAIN’S Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez launched a blistering attack on Europe’s far-right parties on Wednesday.
Sanchez spoke at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in what was meant to be a debate about the end of Spain’s six-month tenure of chairing the European Council.
His main target was Germany’s Manfred Weber, the leader of the right-wing European People’s Party within the European Parliament.
Weber has made no secret of his displeasure at Sanchez securing a deal with the Catalan Junts party that promised an amnesty to those involved in the illegal independence referendum of October 2017 in return for their support in Congress to remain in power.
Pedro Sanchez said: “Mr. Weber, do you know what Vox is doing in Spain in its pacts with the PP? Are you sure you’re comfortable?”
“Do you know that they are eliminating policies of gender violence, censoring concerts, films and plays, while recovering the names of streets of people linked to the Franco dictatorship?”
“Would that be your plan for Germany? Give back to the streets and squares of Berlin the names of the Third Reich?”
As right-wing deputies jeered him, Sanchez kept looking at an unhappy Weber sat in the front row of the Strasbourg chamber.
Manfred Weber asked to speak as Sanchez left and said that in Germany there are agreements between conservatives and social democrats, ‘contrary to what happens in Spain’
He also accused Sanchez of lying to the Spanish people: “You can’t promise that you’re not going to give an amnesty three days before the election and then grant it.”
“You can’t say it’s not constitutional and then say it’s constitutional. Europe is worried, the European Commission is asking questions about the amnesty law,” he continued.
Weber also likened Sanchez’s actions to rule of law violations under right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary, for which Brussels has withheld EU money.