29 Oct, 2023 @ 15:45
1 min read

Spain’s caretaker prime minister voices strongest backing yet for Catalan amnesty

Pedro Sanchez says he will try to form new government in Spain and woos regional party support with promises of EU official language recognition
Cordon Press image

SPEAKING at a meeting of the Socialist Party’s Federal Committee on Saturday, the caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave his strongest backing yet to the idea of an amnesty for anyone who is facing charges for their role in the 2017 Catalan independence drive, saying it would ‘close open wounds’. 

The measure is one of the demands that has been put on the table by nationalist parties from Catalonia, in exchange for their support in Congress for Sanchez’s bid for another term in power. 

Although the conservative Popular Party (PP) won the July 23 general election, it fell well short of a majority, and was unable to form a government at a recent investiture debate. 

The Socialists, however, have secured the support of leftist alliance Sumar to form a coalition government, but they need the backing of a number of smaller parties to find the votes needed for success. 

Pedro Sanchez says he will try to form new government in Spain and woos regional party support with promises of EU official language recognition
Caretaker prime minister Pedro Sanchez. Cordon Press image

Among these parties are Together for Catalonia and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), both of whom have demanded the amnesty in exchange for their support. 

As negotiations behind the scenes ahead of an investiture vote for Pedro Sanchez have continued, the caretaker prime minister had avoided practically any explicit mention of the amnesty. 

But on Saturday he came out in full support of the measure. 

“Catalonia is ready for a complete rapprochement,” he said on Saturday in a speech to the federal committee. “The representatives of more than 80% of the Catalans back the measure. And for these same reasons, in the name of Spain, in the interest of Spain, in defence of harmony among Spaniards, I am today defending the amnesty in Catalonia for the events that occurred over the past decade.”

The measure, however, is being fiercely opposed by right-wing political parties such as the PP and far-right Vox. On Sunday, there were demonstrations in Madrid against the measure organised by Denaes, a foundation that campaigns for a united Spain. 

Vox was present at the march, although the PP opted not to attend officially. 

Speaking in Malaga, however, the PP leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo slammed the words of Sanchez. “You have to be shameless to say that the amnesty is being negotiated in the name of Spain,” he said.

Read more:

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Storms Fien And Gerard Across Spain
Previous Story

Halloween weather in Spain: rain showers and strong winds expected between now and Tuesday

Russian hackers target Spanish government websites to disrupt Granada immigration summit
Next Story

Spain’s Civil Guard arrests hackers in Alicante who targeted 168 different companies via ransomware

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press