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Pedro Sánchez applauds next to his wife Begoña Gómez at the PSOE rally in Benalmádena Pueblo on Wednesday evening. Ñito Salas
National party leaders bring European election campaign to the Costa del Sol
EU elections 2024

National party leaders bring European election campaign to the Costa del Sol

Voters in Spain - including residents from other EU countries - go to the polls this Sunday to choose the next European parliament

SUR

Malaga

Friday, 7 June 2024, 10:09

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Voters in Spain - including residents from other EU countries - go to the polls this Sunday to choose the next European parliament. Parties have been campaigning heavily on the Costa del Sol this week in the closing days of the campaign.

Of the 705 MEPs in the Brussels-based assembly, Spain is voting for 61 of them, two more than the last elections five years ago. Opinion polls for the Spanish vote show a mixed picture with the government's official CIS pollster predicting the PSOE Socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez taking most seats while other, private polls show the conservative Partido Popular (PP) coming out on top.

Y olanda Díaz, centre, top photo; Pablo Iglesias (left photo) and Abascal (left of right photo) with Vox Euro candidate Jorge Buxadé. Salvador Salas / Marilú Báez / Migue Fernández
Imagen principal - Y olanda Díaz, centre, top photo; Pablo Iglesias (left photo) and Abascal (left of right photo) with Vox Euro candidate Jorge Buxadé.
Imagen secundaria 1 - Y olanda Díaz, centre, top photo; Pablo Iglesias (left photo) and Abascal (left of right photo) with Vox Euro candidate Jorge Buxadé.
Imagen secundaria 2 - Y olanda Díaz, centre, top photo; Pablo Iglesias (left photo) and Abascal (left of right photo) with Vox Euro candidate Jorge Buxadé.

But the campaigning has been dominated more by national political battles than lofty European visions, with the recent amnesty for Catalan separatists and the ongoing investigation into the PM's wife's possible corruption finding their way into most rallies, especially on the right.

Diary clash

On Wednesday this week, an awkward diary clash in Malaga between Pedro Sánchez and his Socialists and Santiago Abascal of far-right Vox was avoided in time. Both leaders had been due to campaign in the evening a few hundred metres apart by the Alcazaba in central Malaga.

In the end, the PSOE-Socialist meeting was moved to the feria ground in Benalmádena Pueblo, Sánchez's team blaming security concerns for the late change.

The prime minister surprised many by arriving with his wife, Begoña Gómez, who has been making headlines again all week after it emerged she would be interviewed on 5 July by an investigating judge in a corruption inquiry, the first wife of a Spanish government leader for it to happen to.

Ministers have vociferously continued the claim this week that the inquiry into Gómez and associates linked to her university teaching career is part of the "slime of the right and far-right".

"Begoña and I thank you, a heartfelt thank you," said the PM in Benalmádena as supporters applauded the couple.

Meanwhile, back in Malaga, Vox leader Abascal was following his election strategy to date and criticising both the PSOE and the PP. He told his supporters the only real change "for Europe to be proud of itself and with secure borders" was a vote for his party.

View from the left

On Thursday lunchtime it was the turn of Pablo Iglesias to address a crowd in Malaga - his partner, former minister Irene Montero, is the Podemos lead candidate in the Euro elections.

Rounding off the leaders' visits this week and putting Malaga and the Costa in the national political spotlight fora few hours again was Yolanda Díaz, of coalition government partners Sumar and second deputy prime minister.

Her meeting was in the Parque de Málaga, close to Malaga town hall. The start of Díaz's speech was delayed by a small but noisy protest by a group claiming her left-wing government was not doing enough for Palestine.

Representing the PP this week on the Costa was former PM Mariano Rajoy on Thursday evening in the Castillo El Bil-Bil on Benalmádena Costa seafront.

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