Since its appearance in 2014, the Spanish Vox party has been the subject of an increasingly blatant smear campaign from various media outlets.
A newspaper that has become a propaganda organ of the European People's Party
That campaign began in Spain, often with false information, defamation and statements that only sought to distort what Vox actually does and says. I am not a member of Vox, but as a media reader it offends me that those who have the duty to inform dedicate themselves to trying to deceive us with an already suspicious insistence. The most recent case is that of the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, which seems to have given up its position as a benchmark for liberal-conservative thought in that country to become another propaganda tool of the European People's Party and its Polish branch, Donald Tusk's Platforma Obywatelska (PO, Citizen Platform).
The obvious ideological bias of Rzeczpospolita against Vox
This Monday Rzeczpospolita published a news item about the attendance of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, at the "Viva 22" event organized by Vox last weekend in Madrid. Rzeczpospolita reveals its ideological bias from the first paragraph, describing Vox as an "extreme right party", a qualification that is repeated in the text of the news. In this, the Polish newspaper shares the rating made by Spanish socialists and communists (and their related media) about this party. The reality is that Vox is a conservative and democratic party, which supports the Spanish Constitution and defends its ideas by legal and peaceful methods.
As with other media outlets, Rzeczpospolita makes clear its bias when it comes to labeling extremes. Google search for the Polish term for the "extreme right" returns 3,740 results on rp.pl, the web domain of that newspaper. On the contrary, the term for "extreme left" gives only 75 results. It is a phenomenon that is constantly repeated in the media that consider that being conservative is "extreme right" but being a socialist or communist is "left", without further ado, even if we talk about socialists and communists who refuse to condemn the crimes of communism, as is the case in Spain. For example, last year Rzeczpospolita described Podemos as a "left-wing party", without further ado, despite its ties to dictatorships such as Cuba, Venezuela and Iran.
The lie of qualifying Vox as "anti-European right"
In the same line of militant and sectarian journalism, yesterday Rzeczpospolita posted a comment by Michał Szułdrzyński attacking Morawiecki for attending the aforementioned Vox event. In this case, the author qualifies Vox as a "right-wing party" (it can be seen that in that newspaper they do not agree), but in the third paragraph he refers to Vox as "anti-European right". And based on what? It doesn't explain it. The reality is that Vox does not reject Europe -it would be absurd: we Spaniards are Europeans just like the Poles are-, and furthermore that party has never asked for Spain to leave the European Union.
What Vox is asking for, just as other parties are asking, is an EU that is more respectful of the national sovereignty of the member countries and that does not dedicate itself to imposing the ideological agendas of the left. Is this being "anti-European"? In Rzeczpospolita they don't accept a Europe based on ideological pluralism, perhaps? The only thing missing was that in order to be European we all had to give our opinion following the dictates of the politicians who are part of the European Commission. It is as absurd as describing as "anti-Spanish" or "anti-Polish" anyone who disagrees with the current governments of Spain and Poland on some issue. Does Rzeczpospolita realize the anti-democratic mentality that that way of qualifying someone who does not agree with your opinions?
A crude attempt to try to associate Vox with pro-Russian positions
In addition, Rzeczpospolita criticizes that Orbán and Trump have sent messages of support to the Vox event, due to their positions on Russia. That criticism would be acceptable if that newspaper applied the same rule to all games. How many times has Rzeczpospolita criticized Donald Tusk's PO's contacts with Angela Merkel's CDU? Let us remember that the former German chancellor, who wielded enormous influence in the EU during her mandate, was one of the great supporters of Putin's Russia in the European Union, doing the Kremlin the great favor of dismantling German nuclear power plants to make her country dependent on Russian gas, and creating for the supply of that gas a gas pipeline, the Nord Stream, which made the countries of Eastern Europe hostage to Putin's blackmail, as has now become very clear.
Let us also remember that Germany and France opposed Ukraine's entry into NATO in 2008. Merkel was prime minister of Germany at the time, and the president of France was Nicolas Sarkozy, a member of Les Républicains, a French member of the European People's Party. A large part of the current situation has its origin in that refusal. Has Rzeczpospolita ever reproached the European People's Party for this, or since they are friends, do they prefer to remain silent?
Jędrzej Bielecki lies and defames Vox again
Finally, today Rzeczpospolita publishes an interview with Jędrzej Bielecki in which he states: "The roots of the Spanish party VOX led by Santiago Abascal come from the bloody days of General Franco". This is a crude defamation, and it is not the first: Bielecki already did the same thing last year and also from the pages of Rzeczpospolita. To begin with, Vox has never claimed that dictatorship or the figure of General Franco, so Bielecki is lying. On the other hand, Abascal was born in 1976, after the death of Franco, and for much of his life he was a militant of the Basque PP, having to take an escort as he was threatened with death by the terrorist group ETA.
The curious thing about the case is that Rzeczpospolita is related to a party, the PO, whose Spanish partner, the Popular Party, was founded by a former Franco minister, Manuel Fraga Iribarne. Has that newspaper ever indicated that fact? Well, it seems not. The only mention in rp.pl to Manuel Fraga It was in 2010, remembering that he was Minister of Tourism, but forgetting to say that he was with General Franco.
Bielecki's lie about Vox and Putin, dismantled with facts
In that interview, Bielecki affirms that "the Kremlin likes" Morawiecki's attendance at the Vox event and identifies this party with Putin. What the Kremlin will like, in any case, is that Rzeczpospolita resort to the same tool as the Kremlin's propaganda apparatus, the lie. It is enough to review the objective facts to verify it.
According to a report by a European NGO published in June, Vox is the Spanish party most opposed to Russia of all those represented in the European Parliament. On January 24 of this year, almost a month before the Russian invasion, Vox expressed its support for Ukraine. Likewise, Vox has branded Putin a "dictator" and has called for him to be declared "persona non grata" in Spain. Likewise, and in case that Polish newspaper did not find out, Vox has supported NATO against criticism from the Spanish communists, and has criticized the scant military aid sent by the Spanish government to Ukraine.
Is this pro-Putin, Mr. Bielecki? Aren't you ashamed to lie to your newspaper's audience like that? Remember that we live in a time when the Internet makes it easy to find out the truth, no matter how hard some media outlets are trying to bury it. Of course, with its defamation and lies against Vox, it is not this party that is harmed, but the credibility of Rzeczpospolita, which conveys the message that anything goes, even deception, to attack a political rival, be it the Law and Justice party or its Vox partners.
Photo: Vox. Santiago Abascal, president of Vox, shakes hands with Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, at the Viva 22 event held by Vox on October 8 and 9 in Madrid.
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