Tens of thousands of people in Spain protested against acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s plans to grant amnesty to Catalan separatists in exchange for support for another term in office. The government reached a deal with Catalan separatist party Junts, which includes passing a contentious law granting amnesty to those convicted over Catalonia’s attempt to secede from Spain in 2017. This deal caused shockwaves across the country, with Sanchez’s conservative opponents accusing him of jeopardizing the rule of law for his own political gain.
The People’s Party (PP) leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo expressed that they will continue protesting until new elections are held. Authorities reported that 80,000 people turned out in Madrid, while the PP estimated the total to be closer to one million. The protesters held Spanish and EU flags, along with banners demanding respect for the Constitution.
Banker Tomas Perez, 38, stated that Sanchez has betrayed coexistence and democracy, and he cannot continue governing. Inmaculada Herranz Castro, 64, mentioned that many Socialists who voted for Sanchez feel disappointed because he never mentioned that amnesty would be part of his program. In Barcelona, 6,000 people demonstrated, while Granada and Seville saw numbers of 30,000 and 50,000 respectively. Other cities such as Malaga, Palma, and Valencia also witnessed protests.
After an inconclusive election on July 23, the Socialists engaged in negotiations with smaller parties, including far-left platform Sumar and Catalan, Galician, and Basque nationalist parties. The confirmed support of Junts and the Basque Nationalist Party would give Sanchez an absolute majority in the lower house of the parliament.
The article was reported by Miguel Gutierrez and Guillermo Martinez, written by Jessica Jones, and edited by Kirsten Donovan. The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles apply.
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