Pau BARRENA Agence France-Presse Second in the vote, the socialist Pedro Sánchez is now assured of being returned to power by Parliament this week next, thanks to the support of deputies from the formation of the Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont. In the photo, demonstrators opposed to the amnesty took to the streets on Sunday in Barcelona.
Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated on Sunday at the call of the right to protest against the future amnesty law for Catalan separatists, conceded by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez with a view to ensuring their support for being renewed in the power.
Perceived by part of Spanish society as an attack on the rule of law, this very controversial amnesty comes six years after the attempted secession of Catalonia (north-east), which constituted in 2017 one of the worst political crises in contemporary Spain.
In total, several hundred thousand demonstrators took to the streets of 52 major cities in the country at midday to say “no to amnesty”, at the call of the People's Party (PP), the main opposition party of right, according to figures from several prefectures gathered by Spanish media.
“We will not be silent until there are new elections,” warned its leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, during his speech in Madrid.
This mobilization “goes well beyond the popular party”, added the one who came first in the legislative elections of July 23, but who failed to be invested as prime minister, due to lack of sufficient support in Parliament.
< p>In the capital, nearly 80,000 demonstrators, according to the prefecture, formed a sea of red and yellow Spanish flags, in and around the central square of Puerta del Sol, shouting “Pedro Sánchez resign” or with signs indicating for example “End to regional inequality” or “Sánchez, you are breaking the nation and creating tension.”
“Behind the backs” of the Spaniards
Second in the vote, the socialist Pedro Sánchez is now assured of being returned to power by Parliament next week, thanks to the support of deputies from the formation of the Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont, the main figure of the 2017 secession attempt, who fled to Belgium to escape prosecution.
In exchange for its support, Puigdemont's party, Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalunya), obtained an amnesty law for separatists pursued by the courts, mainly for the events of 2017, as well as the opening of negotiations , among others, on the question of “recognition of Catalonia as a nation”.
The Spanish right, part of the judiciary, but also certain moderate leaders of Mr. Sánchez's Socialist Party consider that this amnesty measure goes against the principles of equality and territorial unity and the separation of powers .
In the crowd in Madrid, dressed in a Spanish flag, Laura Díaz Bordonado, a 31-year-old lawyer, says she feels “not only anger or indignation, but also fear » concerning this political alliance.
A little further on, Alberto, a 32-year-old professor who also votes on the right, denounces a pact signed “behind the backs of all the Spaniards who are here.”
“Accept the result of the ballot boxes”
Speaking at the congress of European Socialists in Malaga, southern Spain, Pedro Sánchez, in power since 2018, called on Saturday the Popular Party to “accept the result of the polls and the legitimacy of the government that we will soon form.”
The far-right party Vox joined PP rallies on Sunday before participating in demonstrations in front of the Socialist Party headquarters Spanish (PSOE) from one end of the country to the other.
In Madrid, the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, called for a “permanent” and “increasing” mobilization to avoid the “coup of State” represented by the agreement between the socialists and the Catalan separatists.
The national headquarters of the PSOE in Madrid has been the target for more than a week of daily demonstrations called by organizations close to Vox. These gatherings degenerated several times this week into clashes between radical activists and the police.