FORMER Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson was present in Madrid on Monday at the 11th night in a row of protests called in opposition to the Socialist Party’s amnesty deal with Catalan separatist parties.
The 54-year-old American writer and commentator accompanied the leader of Spain’s far-right Vox group, Santiago Abascal, in a demonstration outside the Socialists’ national headquarters in the capital’s Ferraz street.
Carlson was mobbed by the crowds in the area, one of whom was wearing a t-shirt with his face on, and answered questions from reporters.
In a video widely shared on social media, the journalist was asked by a reporter from online daily Ok Diario: “How is the world seeing these weird events that are happening in Spain, this violation of our democracy?”
“Well the world isn’t seeing it enough and that’s why we wanted to come,” Carlson replied. “Because it’s not getting the coverage it deserves. I mean, anyone who would violate your Constitution, potentially use physical violence, to end democracy, is a tyrant, is a dictator, and it’s happening in the middle of Europe, so we thought it deserved more coverage than it’s getting.”
In April of this year, Tucker Carlson was fired from his job at Fox News. The controversial television personality is well known for his support of Donald Trump during his presidency, his conservative viewpoints, and his commentary on political and social issues. Since he left Fox News, he has launched a show on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
According to the central government’s delegation in Madrid, some 1,200 people congregated in Ferraz street on Monday night, a similar number to that seen the night before but considerably lower than some of the protests last week, where protestors numbered as many as 7,000.
The demonstrations were sparked when the Socialist Party announced a deal with the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party, and were ramped up when a similar agreement was announced with Together for Catalunya.
Both of these groups are in favour of independence for the northeastern Spanish region, and were the architects of the 2017 drive for secession, which saw an illegal referendum on independence held and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.
Under the terms of the deal, the Socialists have offered major concessions to the region, including the writing off of debts to the central state.
In exchange, the parties are going to lend their support in Congress to Socialist Party leader and caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at his investiture vote later this week. Thanks to their support and the backing of a series of other parties, Sanchez is all but guaranteed to be voted back into power by lawmakers in the wake of the inconclusive general election of July 23.
The most controversial point of the deal between the Socialists and the Catalan separatist parties is an amnesty for anyone who faces prosecution for their actions as part of the independence drive over the last decade.
Not only did this amnesty prompt the demonstrations outside the Socialist headquarters, but also moved the conservative Popular Party (PP) leader, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, to call major protests across Spain for 12pm this past Sunday.
According to police estimates, around half-a-million people turned out to demonstrate across the country in response to the PP’s call, with the biggest crowds seen in Madrid, for a total of 80,000 protestors.
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