Spain far-right party Vox funded by MKO
Tehran, The ultra-right-wing Spanish party Vox is talk of the town these days: in December, it won 12 seats at regional elections and is now part of Andalusia's autonomous government and new investigation shows the goup came to life thanks to MKO's donations.
The Spanish ultra-right party Vox was founded in 2013 following the injection of a million-euro fund by the terrorist group Mujahedin-Khalq Organisation (MKO), an investigative report by Spain's leading daily El Pais said.
The newspaper, that's been looking into the accounts of the far-right group, says it received 1.15622 million euros on 17 December, 2013; the same day it was registered as a party in Spain's Interior Ministry.
'The fund from the Iranian exiles not only was used to pay its 2014 European electoral campaign, but also to establish Vox as a party,' confessed Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the party's founder and first president.
Later between 2013 and 2014, the group dispatched 971,890 euros to the party's account, according to the Spanish paper. '[Party's president] Santiago Abascal was aware of everything, and I explained him my relation with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and I told him that they'd finance us,' says Quadras, referring to the umbrella group, whose armed wing was the MKO until recently. The terrorist group, that killed many Iranians at the onset of the Iranian Revolution, was on the US list of terrorist groups until 2012.
'He seemed ok with it,' adds Quadras, referring to the party's current leader, Abascal. 'He was enchanted. He didn't object at all,' explains Vox founder.
The ultra-right wing party has denied El Pais request to comment. The newspaper reports that donations were used to pay for the party's day-to-day costs such as Abascal's salary, the party's headquarter rent and many other things.
Supporters of the Paris-based NCRI from some 15 countries around the world such as Germany, Italy, the US and Canada, injected the party's bank account, according to the daily that goes on to detail that the smallest amount was 60 euros. 'The largest amount was 35,560 and it was deposited by a big-shot Iranian constructor in the US. His son as well donated 21,522 euros, according to the party's banking transactions,' writes Spain's first newspaper in terms of readership and profits.
El Pais reports that the one million euros were sent from 35 different MKO fundraisers, whose mission has been raising funds for Vox in their countries. Only one of these people ordered six money transfers to the ultra-right group's account worth 14,800 euros between January and February 2014.
The newspaper has found out that these MKO supporters channelled all the donations from anonymous individuals who don't appear in the bank account that was opened by Vox in a Catalan bank. They don't even appear in the party's internal accounts either, reports the Spanish daily.
The party received 114 banking transfers from nearly 1,000 MKO supporters during the first five months of its existence, El Pais reports citing the above-mentioned sources. None of these donations was more than 100.000 euros annually, the limit that has been set by the Parties' Finance Law of 2012. The MKO financial support stopped before the party's campain for European Parliament's election in 2014.
The Spanish report says the relation between the MKO supporters and far-right party Vox started during its initial formation, according to a confidential Excel sheet of the party seen by the paper. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the party's founder and first president, requested economic help from the NCRI's responsibles after he annoucned plans to abandon the right-wing Popular Party (PP) and start a new political career, according to Quadras himself that was European Parliament's vice president for a decade (2004-2014).
'The donations didn't come from the organization, they were from the NCRI's sympathisers from a diverse exiled community,' Quadras says. According to Spain's Political Parties' Finance Law, parties are prohibited from receiving donations from foreign parties or organizations.
Vidal-Quadras' relations with the MKO supporters started when he was PP's European lawmaker between 1999 and 2014, El Pais says. When he arrived in Brussels [the European Parliament's headquarters] he received an MKO delegation. This relation later transformed into Quadras' frequent participation in 14 NCRI's annual meetings held in the French capital.
The Spanish politicians present at the terrorist group's last year meeting were ex-Spanish primer ministers, Jose Luis Rodirguez Zapatero, Jose Maria Aznar and ex deptuy PM Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega.
A notarized document for Abascal
Vidal-Quadras left Vox in 2015 after he couldn't win enough votes (only 1.56% of all ballots, that is, 244, 929 votes), in the European Parliament's 2014 elections. Before, he walked out, he gave a notarised document of all the monetary transfers from MKO's supporters to the party's current leader Abascal, according to the people who have seen Vox accounts. The terrorist group's supporters stopped pumping euros after Vidal-Quadras left the party.
The terrorist money has annoyed many in the party lines, El Pais reports. Abascal has said the list of all donations have been given to the Court of Auditors, the governmental accounting body that audits political parties accountancy. But, the entity denies this. 'According to the Court of Auditor's registry, there is nothing whose sender or subject be clarified as Vox in 2014,' it says.
These new revelations put Vox foreign donations at one million euros, showing that the money played a key role in making it the first ultra-right party that has opened its way to the Spanish political scence. The party won 12 seats at the local elections in southern Spain's Andalusia autonomous community last December.
The Popular Party, that's one of the three parties that have formed Andalusia's government, has reacted to the news of Vox's terrorist money, saying 'we are concerned about the fact that foreign pressure groups take part in Spanish parties' finances.' The lef-wing PSOE, that is controlling the central government, has urged the conservatives to summon Vox's leader Abascal to explain the situation.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency