The presidents of Argentina and Chile, Alberto Fernandez and Gabriel Boric, respectively, have joined the wave of support for Irene Montero.
The Spanish Congress of Deputies lived this Wednesday one of the most tense and embarrassing days of recent times. The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, received harsh personal disqualifications from the far-right deputy Carla Toscano, of the Vox party, which led to the closing of ranks of all the progressive formations in support of the head of Equality.
Support also came from outside the Spanish borders. Leaders like the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez; the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric; the Secretary of Communication of the Argentine Government, Gabriela Cerruti; or the French deputy Jean-Luc Melenchon have publicly shown their support for Montero.
During the debate on the General State Budget, Toscano stated that the only merit of the minister was “having studied Pablo Iglesias in depth”couple from Montero.
He did so during a harsh speech about the recently approved “only yes is yes” law, which has been at the center of political controversy for the last two weeks, in which he also maintained that the minister was a “liberator of rapists” and other disqualifications.
Deputies from Unidas Podemos, the Socialist Party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Bildu and Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) protested with blows on the bench and shouts of “not everything goes”until finally the first vice president of the Board called Toscano to order and ordered the insults to be removed from the session journal.
Montero, for his part, responded with a reply that stood up the progressive part of the Chamber: “I want political violence to be included in the session diary that is being exercised at this moment in the seat of popular sovereignty. So that it is not erased, so that none come after me, so that everyone can remember political violence and those who carry it out,” the minister wielded.
A constant harassment
Toscano’s serious words come just a few days after Carmen Herrarte, councilor for Citizens in the Zaragoza City Council, the fifth most populous city in the country, said that “center-right women have come forward on their merits, without quotas, compared to others that are where they are there because they have been fertilized by the alpha male“, referring to Irene Montero.
The truth is that Montero has received insults related to her personal life, her partner or work she did while studying at the University, as a supermarket cashier, since Pedro Sanchez appointed her Minister of Equality at the beginning of 2019.
However, these types of personal attacks have multiplied in the last two weeks after the entry into force of the “only yes is yes” law, of which Montero was the main promoter and whose application has caused the reduction of the conviction in fifteen sex offender cases.
These attacks have been described as macho and classist. Montero’s defenders point out that she would not receive this type of insults and insinuations if she were not a woman, and also a young one. Likewise, they also highlight that she repeatedly baits her status as a person from the working class.
In an interview this Thursday on Cadena Ser, Montero stated that some limits were exceeded yesterday. “For Carla Toscano to cross that limit yesterday, for many days before there were many other people who were touching it,” he said.
“Political violence is not that one day someone gets up and says something outrageous, but that for more than a week they were saying things like that we were uselessthat feminists we don’t know how to make lawsthat send us an alpha male“, said the minister.
Nearly unanimous support
Irene Montero has collected a large number of supports in the last few hours, beginning with the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sanchez. “We are together against sexist violence. Denying it is a way of exercising it. Raising it on the rostrum of Congress is crossing an intolerable line,” the president wrote on his Twitter account.
For Cuca Gamarra, parliamentary spokesperson for the main opposition party, the conservative Popular Party, “no one has the right to offend” Montero and “enter his personal life.”
“Damn the fascists who talk and the cowards who keep silent.”was the reaction the ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufian.
🎙️ @MertxeAizpurua calls Vox’s insults against @IreneMontero and denounces the brutal harassment and persecution to which the minister has been subjected in the last week. «Yesterday was the culmination of an orchestrated strategy. You have to take it very seriously.” pic.twitter.com/q6tV2586Ym
— EH Bildu Congress – Senate (@EHBilduCongreso) November 24, 2022
For his part, the spokesman for the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Aitor Esteban, considered that with the intervention of the Vox representative, “the bottom of the degradation of the minimum parliamentary decorum“.
From Bildu they called themselves “indecent” Vox insults and denounced the harassment to which Irene Montero is subjected.
Words of support from the other side of the Atlantic
Support has also come from the other side of the Atlantic to the Spanish Minister of Equality. The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, showed his solidarity with Montero in a Tweet in which he asserted that “political and sexist violence against women is intolerableand we must strongly repudiate it every time it happens.”
Also from the Argentine government, the spokesperson for the Presidency, Gabriela Cerruti, was referring to the attack on Montero. “Throughout the world, the right is advancing at the blow of infamy, persecution and political violence against women. We are going to continue to respond with more feminism and with more rights,” she said.
From Latin America all my support to @IreneMontero. Tireless partner in the fight for greater justice and equality that today faces a new uproar of political violence from the extreme right. You are not alone Irene. A transoceanic hug! https://t.co/olCKtyr7U5
—Gabriel Boric Font (@gabrielboric) November 24, 2022
“From Latin America, all my support for Irene Montero. A tireless partner in the fight for greater justice and equality that today faces a new wave of far-right political violence“, wrote Chilean President Gabriel Boric on his social networks.
From Brazil, the regional deputy Manuela d’Avila, also referred to Montero, saying that “she is one of those women who dreams and realizes a new world” and that “the extreme right’s attacks on her are disgusting”.
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