Political violence in Spain is making headlines once again, as the deadlocked parliamentary election results leave the country without an elected government.
The socialists are trying to attract the Catalan separatists as a last resort to try to form a coalition to govern, promising in turn to release members of their movement from prison.
But now, an assassination attempt of a Catalan leader may put Spain on the road to further political turbulence.
The former head of Spain’s People’s Party in the Catalonia region, and one of the founders of the conservative ‘Vox’ party, was shot in the face today (9). Vidal-Quadras is said to oppose the socialist plan to form a new government.
Watch: Spanish paramedics treat Vidal-Quadras
“Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the wealthy Salamanca area of central Madrid at about 1.30 p.m. and taken to hospital.
Spanish police said they were hunting two men in connection with the shooting who were on a black Yamaha motorbike. The gunman, who was wearing a helmet, stopped and got off to shoot Vidal-Quadras.”
After the shooting, both men escaped on the motorcicle. Police cordoned off the area where the shooting happened, but no arrests have been made yet.
“Vidal-Quadras was a long-time member of Spain’s conservative Popular Party, its regional leader in Catalonia and a member of the European Parliament before breaking away to help found the far-right Vox party.
He left Vox shortly after a failed attempt to win a seat in the European Parliament in 2014.”
Witnesses to the attack rushed to attend to the victim, followed by two police officers who tried to plug the wound.
“Local emergency services said Vidal-Quadras was struck in the jaw, leaving an entry and exit wound, around 1:30 p.m. in the Salamanca district of the Spanish capital. Spanish news agency EFE reported that he was approached by a motorcyclist and shot at point-blank range. The shooter remains at large.
The Spanish politician, a former vice president of the European Parliament and early member of the far-right Vox party, was transferred to a local hospital, where he is currently ‘stable and conscious’, according to Spanish outlets. Vox leader Santiago Abascal said that Vidal-Quadras was out of danger.”
Spanish provisional Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, expressed his ‘solidarity’ with Vidal-Quadras, wishing him a ‘speedy recovery’.
“’All my thoughts at this time go to him and his family’, Sánchez said on X. ‘We trust that the investigation can clarify the facts as soon as possible and those responsible will be arrested’.”