Politics The Ministry of Equality did not inform Moncloa of the signing with Brazil of a declaration on Vinicius: "Racism is structural in our societies"

The racist shouts against Vinicius, a Real Madrid player, last weekend in the Valencia field, have caused damage to the reputational image of the Spain brand

Politics The Ministry of Equality did not inform Moncloa of the signing with Brazil of a declaration on Vinicius: "Racism is structural in our societies"

The racist shouts against Vinicius, a Real Madrid player, last weekend in the Valencia field, have caused damage to the reputational image of the Spain brand. Even the president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, prioritized this issue at the G-7 summit that she attended. In the Government they assume that the controversy has magnitude because it is football and a Real Madrid player is involved. It is about containing the image damage, since the issue is all over the international press: "These events in Spain are prosecuted and punished. Racism does not go unpunished."

In the Executive they print a forceful speech, before an issue that has eclipsed the electoral campaign of the municipal and autonomic elections of May 28 and that is monopolizing headlines and debate abroad. "It is a matter in which you must not be neutral. You have to be blunt. In Spain we are anti-racist because we are fighting this type of behavior, we condemn it and we work to eradicate it," said Isabel Rodríguez, government spokesperson, after the celebration of the Council of Ministers.

The Executive wants to highlight that both the Security Forces and Bodies and the Justice Act when this type of behavior occurs, as would be demonstrated by the fact that there are already detainees for racist shouting against Vinicius in the Valencia field. "Zero tolerance", says the Government.

It happens, for example, that however on previous occasions, also with the Real Madrid player as the protagonist, there have been no consequences. In December, the Madrid Prosecutor's Office closed the investigation into racist chants before a disputed derby because, although it describes them as "unpleasant" and "disrespectful", they were released in a context of "maximum rivalry".

In La Moncloa they consider that it is not necessary, at least for now, to toughen the legislation and they do not contemplate promoting the Law against Racism that the Ministry of Equality requires. The Government appeals that there is a Law against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport of 2007 and that there is a Protocol of actions against racism, xenophobia and intolerance in football.

This matter has not been discussed in the Council of Ministers and even sources from La Moncloa state that they had no information about the joint communication of the Ministry of Racial Equality of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Ministry of Equality of the Kingdom of Spain. However, other government sources do clarify that the government, the socialist sector, was aware of the work that Equality was doing.

A text, this one in which, among other reflections, it is pointed out that "events such as the one that occurred in Valencia are not isolated events, but are deeply rooted in society." In La Moncloa they do emphasize that racist situations such as the one in the Valencia field "challenges everyone as a society." "These events happen, it is evidence," Rodríguez pointed out. "There are even those who justify this type of behavior. You have to be blunt," he added without giving names.

However, from Equality, the Ministry led by Irene Montero continues to pressure the PSOE so that the Law against Racism can be processed as soon as possible, which has been announced since March 2022 but has not yet reached the Council of Ministers. This initiative is not even contemplated in the Government's Regulatory Plan for 2023.

"We now need the Law against Racism so that we can develop without further delay, education, protocols and all the possible tools that guarantee free lives for all of us," claimed this Tuesday the minister of Unidas Podemos, who is the one who is promoting the new norm.

The draft of the Law against Racism aims to establish protocols for public authorities to promote the eradication of any possible manifestation of racism in sport, as well as the development of protocols to end racism in clubs, groups and federations. This is a highly topical issue due to the racist attack suffered by the Real Madrid player at the Mestalla stadium last Sunday.

Similarly, the Ministry of Equality reports that protocols are being proposed against racist harassment in educational centers or that companies with more than 250 workers develop plans against racism and racial discrimination.

Other of the announced lines that they want to address is the modification of the Immigration Law so that all foreigners who lack residence authorization in Spain and who have been victims of discrimination, intolerance or hate crimes, are exempt from administrative responsibility and no sanctioning administrative file is filed against them.

In addition, they want to establish "temporary positive action measures to fight against structural racism; fight against hate speech, especially in the media, including digital platforms and social networks; or include curricular content in all educational stages to explain the causes and effects of structural racism", according to Equality.

This is complementary to the recent start-up of the 021 telephone line to assist people who suffer, have suffered or are aware of situations of racial discrimination.

Meanwhile, the Equality ministries of Spain and Brazil have published a joint statement in which, in addition to condemning the racist insults to Vinicius, they demand that "they cannot go unpunished." In this sense, they insist on "the obligation of all competent institutions to respond with the utmost diligence to take action in this and all cases that occur in the sports field."

They consider that episodes like the one that occurred in Valencia "are not isolated events, but are deeply rooted in society" and show that racism is something "structural" in societies. "Racist, sexist and fascist attitudes inside and outside the soccer fields are intolerable in a democracy," both ministries point out.

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