The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: The people of Spain know that the past was not a better place

In last week’s general election, voters turned away decisively from Vox, the hard-right faction that wanted the country to shift into reverse

Santiago Abascal, the hard-right Vox candidate for the presidency of Spain in last week’s election. Vox had been expected to do well and lead a new conservative-right government but instead they lost seats and support. Picture: Getty

The most successful country in Europe in the past four decades, by a distance, must surely be Spain. In the roughly half-century since its transition to democracy following the death of General Franco, this nation of 47 million people has undergone a political, economic, social and cultural transformation so profound and all-embracing that it is unrecognisable from the spartan and isolated place that emerged from the shadow of the generalissimo.

These days, Spain tops many ...