Once again, well over a hundred thousand people demonstrated in the Spanish capital Madrid against the planned amnesty for Catalan separatists and against other concessions. Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who was re-elected on Thursday, promised this in return for the support of two Catalan separatist parties.
Banners read "Sánchez in prison", "Sánchez traitor" and "Pedro Sánchez, the Judas of the 21st century", as shown on state TV channel RTVE. Just last Sunday, hundreds of thousands protested against Sánchez and the amnesty at nationwide rallies.
The organizers of the rally in Madrid, several dozen civil society associations, spoke of a million participants, while the government representation in the capital estimated the number at 170,000. The motto of the demonstration was "Not in my name: neither amnesty nor self-determination. For freedom, unity and equality".
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The head of the largest opposition party PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and the leader of the right-wing populist Vox, Santiago Abascal, also called for the demonstration. Although the PP emerged from the election on July 23 as the strongest force, Feijóo did not get a parliamentary majority. This was also due to his intention to form a coalition with Vox.
Feijóo reiterated on the sidelines of the rally that Sánchez had deceived voters by ruling out an amnesty before the election. The PP is calling for a new election. Abascal once again accused the socialist of wanting to establish a dictatorship.
Sánchez is committed to defusing the Catalan conflict through dialogue and compromise. Patxi López, spokesman for the Socialists in Parliament, accused the opposition of not actually protesting against the amnesty so much as because they suffered a defeat in the July election that they did not want to accept.
After the meeting in the center of Madrid ended, several hundred participants marched to the head of government's official residence, temporarily blocking a highway. In addition, around 3,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the headquarters of Sánchez's socialist PSOE. There had already been violent demonstrations by right-wing extremist participants there in the previous 15 nights. Among other things, they sang the song "Cara al Sol", the party anthem of the fascist-oriented Falange movement of the dictator Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.