Spain: Another protest against amnesty for Catalan separatists

Thousands of people protested again in Spain against the controversial plan for an amnesty for Catalan separatists.

Spain: Another protest against amnesty for Catalan separatists

Thousands of people protested again in Spain against the controversial plan for an amnesty for Catalan separatists. According to police estimates, 15,000 people took part in the rally in Cibeles Square in Madrid. The organizers put the number of participants at 400,000. Opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo's People's Party (PP) and the right-wing populist Vox also joined the protest. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and chanted, among other things, "Sánchez traitor" and "Sánchez in prison."

A first bill from the left-wing government was rejected by the lower house at the end of January. At that time, not only the conservative and right-wing populist opposition voted against it, but also the Catalan party Junts of the former regional government leader Carles Puigdemont. The reason for Junts was the concern that the amnesty would not protect all separatists being prosecuted by the judiciary from punishment.

On Wednesday, however, an amended draft of the penal remission was approved in Parliament's Justice Committee, which is also accepted by Junts. The new version of the law will be discussed and voted on for the first time in the House of Commons next Thursday. However, the parliamentary process is likely to take months.

Carles Puigdemont lives in exile

Sánchez had promised the amnesty to the “Catalanistas” in order to secure the votes of two separatist parties for his re-election in the lower house in Madrid in autumn 2023. Feijóo describes the project as a “national disgrace and international embarrassment.” The resistance against the law is intended to "save" the endangered democracy in Spain.

The liberal Junts party led by Puigdemont, who has been living in exile in Belgium since the failed separation attempt in autumn 2017, and the left-wing ERC of Catalan regional president Pere Aragonès are both striving for Catalonia to secede from Spain. Sánchez wants to defuse the conflict through dialogue and concessions.

NEXT NEWS