Protests mount in Spain against Sánchez’s amnesty deal


Some 80,000 people march in Madrid against agreement for Catalan separatists


Nov 12, 2023.  Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


Tens of thousands of people across Spain demonstrated on Sunday against Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s plans to grant amnesty to Catalan separatists in order to secure support for another term in office.


Sánchez signed the controversial agreement last week after the Catalan separatist Junts party gave its backing to the prime minister’s Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) to form a new government.


The deal, which came four months after the Spanish election resulted in no single party gaining a majority in parliament, was criticized by judicial groups and almost immediately triggered protests. The protests escalated on Sunday, spurred by the conservative opposition People’s Party, with Madrid authorities estimating 80,000 people took to the streets in the capital and demonstrations also held in other cities.


In exchange for the Junts party’s backing, Sánchez’s Socialists agreed to propose a law granting a blanket amnesty to everyone involved in the failed 2017 Catalan independence referendum. The deal includes an as-yet unspecified proposal for legal reform, which critics charge risks undermining judicial independence in Spain.


In Barcelona, 6,000 people demonstrated, while numbers reached 30,000 in Granada and 50,000 in Seville, Reuters reported, citing local authorities. Other protests took place in cities including Malaga, Palma and Valencia.