A retired Spanish politician, a former leader of the main parliamentary opposition party and founder of the second largest opposition party, was shot in the face as he walked out of church on Thursday.
78-year-old Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a retired politician, appears to have narrowly survived what may have been an assassination attempt at Thursday lunchtime. Local media reported he was shot in the face at close range by a would-be assassin with a handgun as he walked out of Mass in a Madrid church. Vidal-Quadras is said to be in serious but stable condition in the hospital where he was taken after the attack.
Spain’s ABC reports a gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet, a blue coat, and denim trousers approached Vidal-Quadras before fleeing to an accomplice waiting on a black Yamaha TMAX motorcycle, on which they made their escape. No arrests have yet been made. Per the outlet, police do not believe robbery was the motive and are investigating a potential assassination attempt.
#Agresión con arma de fuego en c/Núñez de Balboa, 40. #Salamanca.@SAMUR_PC estabiliza a un hombre de 78 años con una herida por arma de fuego y lo traslada a un hospital de #Madrid.@policia investiga. Colabora @policiademadrid. pic.twitter.com/OZHJH866no
— Emergencias Madrid (@EmergenciasMad) November 9, 2023
Counter-terror police have not become involved with the investigation at the time of publication. It is reported the bullet entered Vidal-Quadras’s jaw and exited through his cheek.
Vidal-Quadras was a long-serving Member of the European Parliament and had been a vice-president of the body. He was a leader of the Partido Popular (PP), a right-wing Christian party that has formed several Spanish governments and is now the main opposition party. He left the party in 2014 and became a co-founder of the right-wing populist Vox party, now the second-largest opposition party in the Spanish parliament and seen by some as a potential right-wing coalition kingmaker.
The leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, spoke of feeling shock at the attack against his friend, who he described as a “defender of the nation … and freedom against fundamentalist regimes”, reports El Pais.
Spain: Police Tear-Gas Thousands Protesting Against Socialists in Madridhttps://t.co/hmsN0mwrr0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 8, 2023
The attack comes during a time of severe political turbulence in Spain, as a coalition of left-wing parties attempts to agree on a new government following the country’s recent inconclusive national elections. Causing particular controversy is the price of forming the new left-wing government: the signing into law of an amnesty for hundreds of Catalan nationalist separatists and activists who tried to break away from the rest of Spain in 2017.
Spain has experienced considerable protests in recent days over the notion the government may sign pardons for those who tried to break up the country. Vidal-Quadras was due to attend one of those protests later today and, just hours before he was shot, wrote on social media that the amnesty would “crush the rule of law in Spain” and be an unwarranted intrusion into the courts by the executive. This risked turning Spain into a “totalitarian tyranny” and Spanish people would not stand for it, he wrote.
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