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How to Stop Far-right 101: Iberia

Creative Commons License https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/2281636216 thierry ehrmann ¡No pasarán! Resistancia - Non aux réacs _DDC0017.JPG Secrets revealed of the Abode of Chaos (144 pages, adult only) >>> "999" English version with English subtitles is available >>> HD movie - scenario thierry Ehrmann - filmed by Etienne Perrone ---------- voir les secrets de la Demeure du Chaos avec 144 pages très étranges (adult only) 999 : visite initiatique au coeur de la Demeure du Chaos insufflée par l'Esprit de la Salamandre Film HD d'Etienne PERRONE selon un scénario original de thierry Ehrmann. courtesy of Organ Museum ©2012 www.AbodeofChaos.org

Staff Writer Mehmet Temur analyses the electoral strategies employed against far-right parties in Spain and Portugal, and argues that they may hold important lessons for the broader continental battle against extremism.

In the complex world of European politics, the recent electoral experiences of Spain and Portugal stand as remarkable examples of resilience against the tide of a far-right wave sweeping across the continent. The intricate nature of political manoeuvring, strategic alliances, and the reaffirmation of democratic principles in these Iberian nations not only reflects the complexities of contemporary politics but also provides invaluable lessons in navigating the turbulent waters of populist nationalism.

The Spanish electoral story, which unfolded in July 2023, serves as a potential lesson for the broader European political landscape. Despite the centre-right Popular Party securing the largest share of votes, its inability to forge a viable coalition left the incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party in a favourable position to retain power. The election results, with no single party achieving a governing majority, underscored the shifting dynamics of Spanish politics and marked a reduction in the number of parliamentary seats occupied by the far-right Vox party. This setback for the far-right signalled a potential erosion of their influence, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the prevailing wave of populist nationalism.

The significance of the Spanish election extended beyond mere partisan rivalries, resonating deeply with the nation’s historical legacy of anti-fascist resistance. Framed as a decisive referendum on the future trajectory of the country, the electoral contest evoked echoes of Spain’s tumultuous past, with the rallying cry of “¡No pasarán!” reverberating through the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid. This resolute rejection of far-right ideology symbolised a collective commitment to the cherished values of liberal democracy and served as a stark reminder of the enduring struggle against authoritarianism.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Portugal, the impending snap election scheduled for March 2024 has assumed heightened significance against the backdrop of growing far-right sentiments. Having governed for eight years, António Costa’s Socialist Party recently collapsed due to corruption allegations. It now faces formidable electoral challenges from both the center-right Social Democratic Party and the far-right Chega party. Pedro Nuno Santos, leading the Portuguese Socialists, has adopted a campaign strategy reminiscent of Sánchez’s approach in Spain, emphasising the existential choice between progressive values and the looming reality of far-right ascendancy.

Santos’s impassioned plea, “Vote for me, or else the far right will end up in charge”, encapsulates the existential dilemma confronting Portuguese voters. Amidst concerns over housing affordability, economic stability, and the erosion of democratic norms, Santos seeks to galvanise support by positioning the Socialist Party as the last line of defense against the encroaching forces of far-right extremism. The outcome of the upcoming election will not only shape the political landscape of Portugal but also resonate across Europe, offering a compelling narrative of resistance against the divisive forces of populism and nationalism.

As far-right movements continue to gain traction across Europe, particularly in anticipation of the forthcoming European Parliament elections, the experiences of Spain and Portugal serve as beacons of hope amidst the prevailing tide of right-wing populism. Through their unwavering commitment to democratic principles, inclusive governance, and progressive values, these Iberian nations reaffirm the enduring resilience of liberal democracy in the face of existential threats. In the ongoing struggle against the far-right surge, Spain and Portugal stand as steadfast defenders of pluralism, diversity, and the collective pursuit of a more just and equitable society.

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