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In the wake of recent local elections, which saw the far-right Vox party sweep to power, an eastern Spanish town with a population of 6,000 has announced its decision to prohibit the display of rainbow flags on public buildings.

Despite Vox securing the most votes in Naquera, located approximately 30 km north of Valencia, its leader, Ivan Exposito, had to ally with the mainstream conservative People’s Party (PP) to become mayor, as Vox did not have an outright majority in the town assembly.

A published agreement between the two parties on Vox’s local Facebook page outlines a series of policies that the mayor and his allies have committed to implementing during their four-year term. Among these policies, the 15th point specifically prohibits the display of the LGBTQ+ flag on public buildings.

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Additionally, the agreement includes promises to reduce taxes and bureaucratic hurdles, a freeze on funds allocated to separatist or pro-Catalan organisations, and renaming campaigns against gender-based violence as “campaigns against all violence.”

As Spain prepares for a snap general election on July 23, the pact between the PP and Vox in Naquera, as well as similar agreements in other towns across the country, highlights the mainstream PP’s shift towards right-wing positions on contentious “culture war” issues that are important to Vox, such as LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, migration, and regionalism.

The Socialist Party of Naquera, which came in second place in the election, voiced its opposition to the flag ban by displaying a rainbow flag on its Twitter account. They called upon the town’s residents to proudly hang the flag from their windows, balconies, or terraces as a symbol of support.

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