A FAR-right, anti-immigration party has come to an agreement with conservative allies over the formation of an administration in the Spanish state of Andalusia.

It ends 36 years of socialist rule there and gives the far right their first foothold in Spanish politics since democracy returned in 1975.

Vox, which won 12 seats in Andalusia’s regional election last month, has negotiated a deal with the People’s Party (PP) which, it said, “will lose illegal immigration and libertarian laws and gain freedom, family, pluralism and respect for institutions”.

While the party will not be part of the government of Andalusia, bitter memories of Francisco Franco’s military dictatorship had until now prevented the far right from making any inroads into the Spanish political mainstream. Franco died in 1975 and democracy was re-established three years later.

The PP had negotiated a separate agreement with Ciudadanos (Citizens) to form a coalition government.

In return for its support, Vox made a 37-point agreement with the PP that includes commitments to tackle illegal immigration, reduce regional taxes and combat Islamic fundamentalism. “Today illegal immigration and corruption lose ... and the Andalusians, the defence of the family and a more pluralistic politics win,” said Vox’s deputy leader Javier Ortega.

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The PP’s Juanma Moreno, who will be sworn in as Andalusian president next week, said the “historical agreement ... makes change in Andalusia possible”, and added: “Today a new page in Andalusia’s history begins.”

The National:
Pablo Casado

PP leader Pablo Casado tweeted: “The Andalusians have chosen a government of change to put an end to 40 years of awful socialist policies, and Juanma Moreno is not going to let them down.”

Albert Rivera, ,Citizens leader, echoed the historical theme, tweeting that it was because of the “enormous growth of Cs in the ballot boxes”, going from nine seats to 21.

After the December election, the minority Socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said if the main opposition parties relied on the support of Vox to take office, they risked turning the region into a “cradle of the far right”.

A spokesperson said that the administration regretted “the radicalisation seen on the part of the PP and Ciudadanos”. They said: “This government, in a moment in which some want to go back to the Spain of the black and white era, reaffirms its commitment to European values.”

Despite 700km (435 miles) separating Andalusia from Catalonia, the independence issue played a major part in the election campaign in the Spain’s southern region, with Citizens, PP and Vox all portraying the independence movement as a threat to Spanish unity.

The Catalan parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, described the deal between PP and Vox as “an agreement of shame”.

He tweeted: “First, they accepted their rhetoric, then they opened the doors to the institutions and now they’re going to govern thanks to them [Vox].”

Meanwhile, Manuel Marchena, president of the Spanish Supreme Court, has asked the ministry of the interior to transfer the Catalan political prisoners to Madrid in the last week of this month.

There is still no fixed date for the trials of Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart, Joaquim Forn, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull, Jordi Turull, Dolors Bassa and Carme Forcadell, for their roles in the October 2017 independence referendum.