Tuesday February 20, 2024

Politician is shot in the face in Madrid

Published : 09 Nov 2023, 22:39

  By ALICIA LEÓN and JOSEPH WILSON, AP
The Vice-President of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras from Spain gestures while talking to the media at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday Jan. 27, 2009. File Photo: AP Photo/Thierry Charlier.

Veteran Spanish right-wing politician Alejandro Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face in broad daylight on a central Madrid street on Thursday. His life was not in danger, according to the hospital where he was rushed for treatment.

Police said Vidal-Quadras was attacked at around 1:30 p.m. local time near his home and that he was conscious when taken to a hospital by emergency crews. A motive for the shooting wasn't immediately disclosed.

According to Spanish state news agency EFE, police believe the shooter fled the scene on a motorbike, wearing a black helmet.

Four hours after the shooting, Madrid's Gregorio Marañón hospital issued its first public medical report on Vidal-Quadras' condition. The hospital said the gunshot had fractured his jawbone and that he will undergo surgery. It said he was in stable condition and that his life was not in danger.

Vidal-Quadras, 78, was a long-time member of Spain's conservative Popular Party, its regional leader in Catalonia, and a European Parliament member before leaving after three decades when he fell out with then-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

After he broke away, he helped found the far-right Vox party. He left Vox shortly after a failed attempt to win a European lawmaker seat in 2014.

Police are investigating the shooting and have yet to make any arrests.

"Thank God it seems that Alejandro Vidal-Quadras is out of danger," Vox President Santiago Abascal said.

Popular Party President Alberto Núñez Feijóo deplored the shooting and wished for his recovery. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez expressed his concern on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

"All my warmth at this moment (is) for him and his family," Sánchez said.

Vidal-Quadras served as a vice president for the European Parliament and took a heavy interest in foreign affairs, participating in the legislature's delegations to the former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

He has not been active in politics for several years but has maintained a public role as a media commentator and columnist. There have been no immediate reports that the attack could have a political motivation.