17th June 2024
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Sánchez jeered at Spain’s national day, with chants of controversial slogan

Many Spaniards jeered acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the country’s National Day military parade in Madrid on Thursday, over his efforts to end Spain’s political limbo by seeking to strike a deal with the Basque nationalist and Catalan pro-independence parties. They also chanted a controversial poilitical slogan [see below]. ALSO READ: Right-wing and far-right politicians join thousands in anti-amnesty rally in Barcelona.

Sánchez appeared on a raised platform at Madrid’s Neptune fountain alongside King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and Princess Leonor for the celebrations as people waving small Spanish flags lined the street.

Sánchez, who was also jeered by the public at national day events in previous years, arrived by car down a side street and his presence wasn’t announced on the public address system, according to newspaper El Pais.

To succeed in his effort to stay on as prime minister after the inconclusive general election of 23 July, Sánchez, 51, needs the supporting votes of two Catalan pro-independence parties – Junts per Catalaunya (JxCat) and Esquerra Republicana (ERC). In return for their backing, those parties are demanding an immediate amnesty for possibly thousands of people who participated in a failed 2017 push for Catalonia’s secession, and in the medium to longer term, the right to hold a referendum on Catalan independence.

The protestors, whose shouts could be heard on the live television coverage, chided Sánchez for entertaining the possibility of a deal with the Catalan separatist and Basque nationalist parties, as his tense negotiations with them continue.

‘¡Que te vote Txapote!’

The protestors could also be heard chanting a controversial political slogan that has been used by Spain’s main right wing opposition, the People’s Party (PP), and the far-right Vox party before, during and since the general election – ‘¡Que te vote Txapote!’ – which means ‘Let Txapote vote for you’. 

Txapote is the nickname of Francisco Javier García Gatzelu, a convicted terrorist responsible for the murder of several politicians and numerous other crimes whilst serving as one of the heads of the now-disbanded Basque separatist group ETA.

As the PP and Vox accuse Sánchez of supporting Catalan and Basque separatist parties in order to hold onto power, as well as giving the two regions favourable treatment, the slogan has often been chanted at him – particularly as he has the parliamentary support of the Basque nationalist party EH Bildu, the successor to the political wing of ETA.

The slogan was first used in September 2022 by a man who wrote it on a placard during a visit by Sánchez to Seville (Andalusia). A Europa Press photographer caught it on camera and it started to become increasingly popular. 

During the only one-to-one TV debate between Sánchez and Feijóo before the July election, Sánchez asked his opponent if he condemned the usage of the Que te vote Txapote slogan by his party, reading a tweet of the sister of one of Txapote’s victims who said ‘Would you like a slogan with the name of your parents’ and siblings’ murderer to become fashionable?’ Feijóo avoided answering the question.

Spain’s Victims of Terrorism Collective (COVITE) have accused the PP and Vox of ‘trivialising terrorism and terrorists’ with the expression, although others who lost family members to ETA have come out and supported its usage being that it represents freedom of expression and it was ‘born from public sentiment’. 

ETA, which stands for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Liberty), operated from 1959 until 2018 and killed more than 850 people in countless terrorist attacks, from kidnapping and murdering politicians to planting bombs in a shopping centre. 

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