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HomeWorldSpain's far right threatens to exit regional coalitions over migrant plan

Spain's far right threatens to exit regional coalitions over migrant plan

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish far right party Vox threatened to bring down ruling coalitions with the centre-right People's Party in protest over an agreement to transfer some 400 underage migrants from the Canary Islands to continental Spain.

The PP, which runs five regions in coalition with Vox, accepted a plan by the central Socialist government to transfer some 400 of 6,000 unaccompanied underage migrants now in the Canaries, having arrived in small boats from West Africa.

“Today (the People's Party) has blown up (regional) government deals, welcoming voluntarily 400 underage migrants,” Vox leader Santiago Abascal wrote on X late on Wednesday. “Do not count on us to scam, loot and endanger Spaniards.”

It was unclear whether the PP would be able to keep governing on its own in the five regions where it has partnered with Vox, or if by-elections will be needed.

In highly descentralised Spain, regions handle crucial government responsibilities such as healthcare and education. In addition to regional coalitions sealed, Vox lent its votes in Spain's national assembly to PP chief Alberto Nunez Feijoo in his failed campaign to be nominated prime minister last year.

Vox was founded in 2012 and has become the third largest party at the national level in Spain, campaigning on a platform of patriotism, Spanish unity in the face of Catalan separatist sentiment and especially opposition to migration from Africa.

The far right made gains in recent European elections by focusing on public concerns about the cost of living, the green transition and migration. However, Vox's share of the vote in Spain during recent elections to the European Parliament fell from the previous national election in July last year.

A rising influx of migrants into the Canary Islands from West Africa - with the number in the first five months of 2024 soaring five times to over 16,500 from the previous year - has put a strain on the archipelago's infrastructure, Regional Policy Minister Angel Victor Torres said on Thursday.

Underage migrants who travel alone to Spain are entitled to government protection and aid.

Torres said the Canaries together with Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish enclaves on Morocco's north coast, have so far been responsible for their care, with just a few dozen transferred to mainland Spain over the past three years, he said.

Vox maintains that many migrants designated as underage are actually older and that the aid earmarked for them should be spent on Spaniards instead.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; editing by Aislinn Laing and Mark Heinrich)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. INDIANEXPOSE holds no responsibilty for its content.

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