SPAIN’S Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has admitted to a controversial new rape law being ‘the biggest mistake’ of his government.
In a Sunday interview with La Sexta, Sanchez said: “It has been a feminist government which has passed over 200 laws, but a technical mistake was made in the ‘yes is yes law’, which led to a series of undesired effects reducing the sentences of sexual offenders.”
The controversial law which hit the statute book last October was meant to be stricter than previous laws, but instead has resulted in 943 reduced sentences of sex offenders who were convicted under the previous legislation.
After passing the law, major Podemos figure, the Equalities Minister, Irene Montero, who backed the changes, faced intense criticism from other opposition parties, civil society, judicial organisations and even some of her political allies.
During the La Sexta interview, Socialist Party leader Sanchez revealed he had ‘never’ considered sacking Montero.
“Despite the disagreements I may have had with the Equality Minister, I have always put stability first,“ said Sanchez.
“And that’s despite the fact that our coalition partner said some very harsh things”, he added, making reference to Podemos’ criticism after the Socialists decided to change law with the support of the conservative Partido Popular last April.
The controversy arose from the fact that the reform of the law removed the distinction between sexual abuse and sexual aggression.
The new text still has sexual abuse and sexual aggression as a single crime but introduces a subtype to differentiate between aggression with or without violence and intimidation.
Irene Montero has been in effect side-lined by the new leftist grouping, Sumar, led by deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz , which will be standing in the July 23 general election.
Sumar includes the Podemos party which threatened to fight for Montero to get a prominent place on electoral lists but have since backed down.
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