Not many people know this, but Spain was under a dictatorship from the 1930s to the 1970s. As Spain has led the way in many social justice acts, notably becoming the fourth country in the world to legalise gay marriage, this may come as a surprise. Such a law would have never been passed in the Catholic-led Nationalist government.

The rest of Europe is not immune to this alarming rise in fascism. Far-right political parties are growing in confidence. Spain's Vox party in the November 2019 elections were able to take hold of over 50 seats in the Spanish Congress. It sent shock waves across Spain as they believed they were immune from far-right parties due to the mark the fascist dictatorship left on the country.

Many speculate that such parties have been allowed to grow at a swift rate thanks to the large number of immigrants arriving on Spanish soil from Africa. This is supported by the fact that the party centres around campaigns for stricter immigration control.

Similar narratives can also be observed all across Europe. In France, Marie Le Pen from the far-right party, ‘Le Front National’, was the running mate of Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 presidential elections. In Austria, a coalition government between the centre-right and the far-right party formed by former SS officers has been created. Whilst in Germany, a far-right party came third in federal elections. This rise of fascism has one simple explanation - the increase in immigration from Africa and the Middle East.

Immigration has been one of the main focuses of politics in Europe since ISIS gained strongholds in Syria and Iraq in 2014. This sparked mass immigration across the Mediterranean to continental Europe. Spain's Vox party plays to this weakness and promises to deport illegal immigrants.

While initially many European governments opened their doors to refugees, they soon started turning them away. France began sending immigrants back to Greece where they first entered the continent. This generated opposition as countless people believed this opposed the European Union's Free Movement of Persons Act.

One man in particular, Cédric Herrou, became well known in France and around in the world in 2017 following his arrests for helping over 250 immigrants cross the border from France from Italy. His actions gained the applause of thousands of French people who were in support of his actions.

To understand why fascism has slowly but steadily begun to creep back into European politics, you need to understand the roots of fascism in Spain.

Read the rest of the article in our August issue...