The installation of a new Spanish government was marred by violence on October 9 as a prominent politician was shot in what some called a “terrorist attack.”
The shooting of Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a founder of the right-wing Vox party and former MEP, in the Núñez de Balboa Street of Madrid’s city centre at around 13:30, came as the left-wing government announced a deal to take power after highly contested elections.
According to witnesses, Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face.
The gunman was reportedly waiting for him to exit a church after mass.
#Agresión con arma de fuego en c/Núñez de Balboa, 40. #Salamanca.@SAMUR_PC estabiliza a un hombre de 78 años con una herida por arma de fuego y lo traslada a un hospital de #Madrid.@policia investiga. Colabora @policiademadrid. pic.twitter.com/OZHJH866no
— Emergencias Madrid (@EmergenciasMad) November 9, 2023
Vidal-Quadras is reported to be stable at Madrid’s Gregorio Marañón hospital.
“I want to condemn the shooting in the face that Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former PP president of Catalonia, has just suffered”, said Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the Partido Popular (PP).
The centre-right leader called for an immediate investigation.
The leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, expressed his “shock” over the attack on Vidal-Quadras, “a man known for his defence of the nation, and for his defence of liberty against fundamentalist regimes.”
Abascal said that “this acting government is sustained by parties that have not condemned those kinds of crimes for forty years.”
“The agreement between [the Socialist] PSOE and [Catalan separatist party] Junts includes, precisely, an amnesty for street terrorism crimes.”
Vidal-Quadras had tweeted moments after the PSOE-Junts deal was signed in Brussels.
“The infamous pact between Sánchez and Puigdemont that crushes the rule of law in Spain and ends the separation of powers has already been agreed.”
He added: “Our Nation will thus cease to be a liberal democracy and become a totalitarian tyranny. We Spaniards will not allow it.”
Ya se ha acordado el infame pacto entre Sánchez y Puigdemont que tritura en España el Estado de Derecho y acaba con la separación de poderes. Nuestra Nación dejará así de ser una democracia liberal para convertirse en una tiranía totalitaria. Los españoles no lo permitiremos.
— Alejo Vidal-Quadras (@VidalQuadras) November 9, 2023
The pact between acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist Party and Carles Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya includes an amnesty law for Catalan separatists.
The amnesty law is “an indispensable requirement” to ensure “political, institutional, and social normality,” says the four-page deal.
According to the agreement, the amnesty law must benefit all citizens “that have been linked” to judicial proceedings or decisions regarding the 2017 independence referendum, which the Madrid government considered illegal.
In exchange, the Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya party committed to support Pedro Sánchez’s bid to be re-elected premier.
PSOE and Junts will also establish commissions in the Spanish Parliament to investigate alleged misuse of the courts against the Catalan separatist movement.
The agreement states that Junts will propose the holding of a self-determination referendum, without specifying a timetable. The PSOE will “respect the self-governing institutions and the institutional, cultural, and linguistic singularity of Catalonia.”
Puigdemont said today that “Junts makes clear in the agreement the legitimacy of the referendum in Catalonia and that is why the agreement contains the amnesty law.”
Partido Popular leader Feijóo reacted: “Spain has lost, the separatists are winning, and the PSOE is gone.”
Abascal said this agreement is a “coup agains the nation, democracy, and the law.” A “dark period in the history of Spain has just begun”.
PSOE and Junts reached their deal 24 hours after the European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders expressed “serious concerns” over a potential new amnesty law.
Protesters are expected to gather outside the European Parliament headquarters in Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana on the evening of October 9.
Several civil society organisations and political parties have also called for “massive mobilisations” against this deal over the weekend.