| 21 July 2024, Sunday |

Spain sees mass rally against Catalan separatist amnesty

An estimated 170,000 individuals paraded through Madrid’s streets on Saturday, marking what authorities deemed the most extensive demonstration thus far against a proposed amnesty law for Catalan separatists.
Spain’s Socialists agreed to the amnesty two days earlier in order to form government with the support of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties.

Protesters waved Spanish flag held signs which read “Sanchez traitor” and “Don’t sell Spain.”

Opposition leaders slam Sanchez
Madrid has been rocked by a number of protests over the proposed amnesty, and Saturday’s rally came after Socialist leader Sanchez secured enough support to start his next four-year term as prime minister.
Spain’s conservative People’s Party narrowly came first in the election but did not win enough seats in parliament outright to form government, paving the way for Sanchez to negotiate with smaller parties.

“They know they don’t have the votes to do what they’re doing. That’s why we’re telling them with this demonstration,” People’s Party leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo said.

The leader of far-right party Vox, Santiago Abascal, was also present at the protest.

He said the proposed amnesty was “as serious as a coup d’etat.”

What is the amnesty about?
Sanchez has promised to give amnesty to around 400 people involved in Catalonia’s unilateral independence bid in 2014.

The independence referendum had been declared illegal by Spanish courts and resulted in Spain’s worst political crisis in decades.
Sanchez has defended the law, arguing that it would help diffuse tensions in Catalonia.

However, it has been criticized by four judicial associations who say that it threatens the rule of law and the separation of powers.

  • DW