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Santiago Abascal
En el Toro TV (Dando Caña) con Santiago Abascal 28·03·2023 - 52777640143 (cropped 2).jpg
Abascal in 2023
President of Vox
Assumed office
20 September 2014
Vice President Jorge Buxadé
Preceded by José Luis González Quirós
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
21 May 2019
Constituency Madrid
Director of the Data Protection Agency of the Community of Madrid
In office
4 February 2010 – 28 December 2012
President Esperanza Aguirre
Preceded by Antonio Troncoso
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the Basque Parliament
In office
4 October 2005 – 6 January 2009
Constituency Álava
In office
16 January 2004 – 22 February 2005
Constituency Álava
Member of the General Assembly of Álava
In office
13 June 2003 – 3 February 2005
Constituency Vitoria
Member of the City Council of Llodio
In office
13 June 1999 – 16 June 2007
Personal details
Santiago Abascal Conde

(1976-04-14) 14 April 1976 (age 48)
Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Political party Vox (since 2014)
Other political
People's Party (1994–2013)
Ana Belén Sánchez Cenador
(m. 2002; div. 2010)

Lidia Bedman
(m. 2018)
Children 4
  • Santiago Abascal Escuza (father)
Alma mater University of Deusto

Santiago Abascal Conde (Spanish pronunciation: [sanˈtjaɣo aβasˈkal ˈkonde]; born 14 April 1976) is a Spanish politician and since September 2014 the leader of the right-wing political party Vox. Abascal is a member of the Congress of Deputies representing Madrid since 2019. Before the creation of Vox, Abascal was long a member of the People's Party, served as legislator in the Basque Parliament, founded the Spanish nationalist Foundation for the Defense of the Spanish Nation (Spanish: Fundación para la Defensa de la Nación Española, or DENAES) and exerted the role of director of publicly funded entities of the Community of Madrid.


Early life

Abascal was born in Bilbao. Abascal descends from a line of prominent politicians in the Province of Álava: his father Santiago Abascal Escuza was a politician and a member of the People's Party, and his grandfather Manuel Abascal Pardo was the mayor of Amurrio from 1963 to 1979, during the dictatorship of Franco and Spanish transition to democracy. Because of their political work, Abascal's family was routinely threatened by the terrorist group ETA.

Political career

Acto de Vox en Vistalegre (44248342555)
Abascal giving a speech in 2018 in Vistalegre

He became a member of the People's Party when he was 18, in 1994. Abascal was city councillor of Llodio for two terms (1999–2007). He served in the Basque Parliament from January 2004 to February 2005 representing Álava. He later served again in the regional legislature from October 2005 to January 2009.

After he left Basque politics, Esperanza Aguirre, the regional president of the Community of Madrid, found him a niche in the region by handpicking him to the post of director of the Data Protection Agency of the Community of Madrid (2010–2012). Abascal was later appointed to another post as Director of the Foundation for Patronage and Social Sponsorship (2013), a publicly funded entity without known activity during Abascal's spell.

Abascal left the PP in 2013 and helped to found a new party, Vox, which was formed on the same day that the Foundation for Patronage and Social Sponsorship dissolved. After Vox's bad result in the May 2014 European Parliament election in which it failed to obtain any seats, inner strife followed between a faction represented by party members such as Ignacio Camuñas, José Luis González Quirós and Alejo Vidal-Quadras, and a hardline faction, featuring Abascal along with other figures of the DENAES Foundation. The moderate faction became estranged from the party, and Abascal became the new president on 20 September 2014.

Abascal is a member of the Congreso de los Diputados representing Madrid since May 2019. His party came third in the election for the 14th Congreso, characterized by the BBC as a "far-right surge".

During 2020 and 2021 electoral campaigns for regional elections in Basque Country and Catalonia, multiple electoral events featuring Abascal as one of speakers were attacked by radical political opponents on the premises of "Vox's legal electoral events in these provinces being acts of provocation".

Political positions

Abascal's political programme for 2018 includes the expulsion of all illegal immigrants, the construction of "impassable walls" in the Spanish African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, the prohibition of the teaching of Islam, the exaltation of "national heroes", the elimination of all regional parliaments and opposition to Catalan nationalism. He used anti-Muslim rhetoric in 2019 and called for a new Reconquista or reconquest of Spain.

He has also expressed disappointment towards Morocco and how it handles the border by allowing illegal immigrants to cross. This has led to conversations about the status of Spanish Sahara. Abascal has expressed a different way to handle it (unlike the other parties that favor abandoning it to Morocco); that the people of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic have the right to self determination, with the hopeful outcome of choosing to remain and integrate as the Spanish Sahara.

Abascal promotes climate change denial and believes that global warming is the "greatest swindle in history". He is opposed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals referred to as Agenda 2030.

On economic issues, he claims the legacy of 1996–2004 Prime Minister José Maria Aznar of the People's Party, and supports an economic liberal and fiscal conservative line, including a sharp reduction in public spending.

Personal life

He first married Ana Belén Sánchez, who was herself a PP candidate in local elections in Llodio and Zuia; they had two children. They subsequently divorced. In June 2018, he married the Spanish blogger and influencer Lidia Bedman-Lapeña. He had two children with Bedman. Abascal is a longtime member of the Spanish Ornithological Society. Abascal is an affiliate of the ultraconservative association HazteOir (HO) and was the recipient of a HO Award in 2012.

Due to recurrent death threats for his political views and work, Abascal is licensed to carry and use a handgun for self-defence. Namely, the license type B, granted to civilians proved to experience a real and high risk of being attacked. Under strict Spanish gun laws, such licenses are rare, as only about 0.02% of population hold them.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Santiago Abascal para niños

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