A The proposal results from agreements signed between the PSOE and two Catalan parties that, in exchange for amnesty, will enable a new left-wing government in Spain, following the legislative elections on July 23.
Socialist leader and minister Félix Bolaños said today that the proposal has the support of seven parties, not just the PSOE and the Catalans, and that it will be approved in the coming weeks by an absolute majority of 178 votes by the Congress of Deputies.
In addition to the PSOE and the two Catalan independence parties Esquerda Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Somar (which will be PSOE’s partner in the coalition of the next government), the Galician Nationalist Bloc ( BNG) and the Basques EH Bildu and Basque Nationalist Party (PNV, in its Spanish acronym).
All of these parties reached agreements with the PSOE to enable the reappointment of socialist Pedro Sánchez as prime minister, in a vote scheduled for next Thursday.
Thousands of people could be covered by amnesty.
There is no official list of how many have already been tried, are charged in court or are involved in judicial and police investigations within the independence movement in Catalonia between January 1, 2012 and November 13, 2023, the period covered by the proposed law.
The known numbers are from the Òmnium Cultural association, which has referenced 1,460 people already on trial or still facing justice since 2017, but in the broader period established in the proposed law estimates that more than 3,000 people could potentially be amnestied.
In addition to politicians then in government and in the regional parliament, association leaders and demonstrators who participated in protests, some of which were marked by disturbances and violence, among the people identified by Òmnium Cultural are dozens of mayors, public servants, firefighters or school directors who , for example, organized spaces for voting in the illegal referendum on October 1st.
Among the potential beneficiaries of the amnesty are Catalan leaders who were never tried for fleeing Spain in 2017, such as the then president of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, who now negotiated the amnesty with the socialists.
In the “explanation of reasons” text that accompanies the proposed law known today, the PSOE emphasizes that amnesty was already considered legal by the Spanish Constitutional Court in 1986 and that it was already applied in Spain in 1976 and 1977, within the scope of the transition from dictatorship to democracy.
“All this allows us to conclude that amnesty, far from being an unconstitutional figure, is part of the founding pact of Spanish democracy”, reads the text, which adds that, in addition, it is recognized and applied in democratic countries such as Portugal, country that approved an amnesty this year in connection with the Pope’s visit to Lisbon.
The figure of amnesty is also “perfectly approved” in the bodies of the European Union and by the European Court of Human Rights, argues the text.
The Spanish right has criticized the amnesty as it considers it an attack on the rule of law, the principle of separation of powers and the independence of Justice.
The PSOE has stated that this amnesty aims to return a political conflict to politics and that “the dejudicialization” of the process that has been experienced in Catalonia over the last ten years is the best way to recover coexistence between Spaniards and “close wounds”.
“This organic law is another step on a difficult path, but at the same time courageous and reconciling”, reads the text of the proposed law, which has the formal title “Proposed Law for institutional, political and social normalization in Catalonia “.
In the last legislature, the PSOE already pardoned independentists who were in prison and has highlighted that tension in Catalonia has since decreased, there is currently no unilateral self-determination movement and the separatist parties lost all votes in successive elections.
Read Also: Borrell with “a lot of concerns” about agreements with independentists
All News. By the Minute.
Seventh consecutive year Consumer Choice for Online Press.
Download our free App.