Spain’s Vox party calls for stronger European border after riots in Paris reveal danger of ‘multicultural hot spots’

Liverpool supporters light flares during the Champions League final soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Spain’s national-conservative Vox party is seeking to raise a debate in the European Parliament about the riots at the Liverpool-Read Madrid football match at the Stade de France, with MEPs calling for Europe to take action against “multicultural hot spots.”

“We still have time to prevent [the Spanish cities of] Usera, El Puche or Salt from becoming Saint-Denis [a multicultural neighborhood in Paris]. We need to protect the borders, end the pull effect [for migrants], increase the police presence, end the free social benefits buffet, and stop bowing our heads to progressive inquisitors,” said Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Vox party.

Usera, El Puche and Salt are all impoverished urban neighborhoods in Spain with a large ratio of immigrant population and high unemployment.

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On May 29, during the Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League final, police had to use tear gas to control the riots that broke out around the Stade de France, located in the Saint-Denis multicultural neighborhood. Large groups of Middle Eastern and North African men assaulted and robbed both Spanish and English fans en masse, with the incident turning into a national scandal for France.

The French police’s reaction, according to witnesses and as evidenced from videos captured at the scene, was to use tear gas against peaceful English fans who had bought their tickets at a high price for the match. Although not assaulted by French law enforcement officers themselves, the Spanish fans standing on the other side of the stadium also fell victim to local thugs.

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The chaos in Saint-Denis has prompted Vox to put the incident up for debate. Vox’s own spokesperson, Espinosa de los Monteros, witnessed the riots. According to Spanish news portal Vozpópuli, the party wants to take the incidents in the league final to the plenary session of the European Parliament next week. The aim is to incite the EU to take action against what they define as no-go areas or, to use the words of Rocío De Meer and Jorge Buxadé, “multicultural hot spots.”

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