Weekly Round Up 7th-13th January

Javier Ortega Smith, General Secretary of Vox

The Spanish Far-Right

Spanish Vox Party

Unprecedented renaissance

Andalusia, Southern Spain

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Following a trend in much of Europe, Spain’s most populous region has seen a rise in far right politics. This is unusual for Spain however as the far right parties have had very little political success in the Iberian kingdom since the end of fascist dictator Francisco Franco’s reign in 1975.

In December 2018, the Vox Party unexpectedly won a number of seats in Andalusia. The victory has thrust the party into a position of power. The Vox party are now the critical element in forming a center right coalition with the People’s Party. This new coalition  threatens to dethrone Susana Diaz of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, who has been at the head of Andalusian politics since 2013.

In order to form the coalition, the Vox party has presented a list of demands including repealing laws and protections for women and the LGBT+ community in Andalusia as well as adding special protections for bull fighting. Furthermore they demand the deportation of over 52’000 illegal immigrants. Some members of the People’s Party, with whom Vox will be making the coalition, have ridiculed the demands as unacceptable. While it is still possible that Susana Diaz could remain in power it seems unlikely.
The situation in Spain will remain interesting in the coming year as both local and regional elections will be held in May.  The election results could very well see further gains for far-right parties.

Full Articles:
El Pais
The Guardian


Greek Prime Minister Tsipras

Greek Government Crisis

Panos Kammenos, Greek Minster of Defence

Stepping down from his office in protest

Athens, Greece

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
On Sunday the Greek Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos announced he would be stepping down in protest over the upcoming ratification of the deal to change the name of Greece’s northern neighbor. The deal will change the name of the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia. In doing so the Greek government has promised to lift their veto of Macedonia joining the NATO Alliance.

Greek Prime Minister Alexander Tsipras has called for a vote of confidence as a result of Kammenos’ decision to step down. Kammenos was the leading member of the junior party of the current government coalition in Greece. The Prime Minister expressed certainty in the upcoming vote as his Syriza Party makes up 145 seats of the 300 seat Greek Parliament.  Although things may still change in the coming weeks, it seems fairly certain that Tsipras will survive the vote of confidence, as well as pushing through the name change accord.

Full Articles:
Associated Press
The Guardian
The New York Times


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Ousting a President

Juan Guaidó, Opposition Leader

Vows to Oust President Nicolas Maduro


Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
On Thursday of last week, incumbent President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for another six year term as president of Venezuela. Under his tenure as President the economy of the South American country has collapsed, with wide spread violence and hunger. Over three million people have fled the country due to these conditions.
Juan Guaido, the 35 year old opposition leader and head of Venezuela’s national assembly declared Maduro’s re-election fraudulent and announced he would do everything in his power to oust the president.

On Sunday, Guaido was detained for several hours by the Venezuelan Intelligence Service (SEBIN) while en route to a town hall style meeting in La Guaira. He was later released. He has called for the citizens of Venezuela to take to the streets in protest while asking that the military of Venezuela support him as interim president until new elections can be held. The Government of Brazil has already declared its support for Guaido, recognizing him as the president of Venezuela, and not Maduro.
The situation in Venezuela has reached a critical point. It remains uncertain what will happen but current events could very well be the first steps towards a new government.

Full Articles:
The Financial Times
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times


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