Thousands of right-wing activists march against S?nchez and ‘indignity’ of amnesty law

Tens of thousands of right-wing supporters marched against the ‘indignity’ of an amnesty law for those involved in the 2017 secessionist attempt in Catalonia, only a few days before the “doomed to fail” investiture debate of Alberto N??ez Feij?o, the leader of Partido Popular (PP/EPP).

In front of 40,000 people, according to government figures, and 60,000, according to PP sources, Feij?o, winner of the 23-July snap general elections although without a sufficient majority to govern, warned that if the acting Prime Minister, Pedro S?nchez (PSOE/S&D), goes ahead with such a law, his party will fight this “indignity”.

The PP rally, held in a central square in the Spanish capital, was attended by former PP prime ministers Mariano Rajoy and Jos? Mar?a Aznar, who emphasised Feij?o’s message.

The chief of Spain’s centre-right forces in Parliament stressed that he would respond by all possible means to the undemocratic “cacicada” (imposition by force) of an amnesty law.

Amid shouts of “president, president” and surrounded by thousands of supporters, N??ez Feij?o, leader of the opposition, promised that he would defend a Spain “of free and equal citizens” against a hypothetical amnesty law not voted by the people, he warned, Euractiv’s partner EFE reported.

S?nchez needs the votes of Catalan separatist parties Junts Per Catalunya (JXCat, Together for Catalonia/The Greens/EFA) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia, ERC), as well as other support from Basque nationalist parties, to govern for another four years.

However, the road ahead is full of hurdles. Earlier this month, JxCat leader and former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont, on the run from Spanish justice in Waterloo, Belgium, since 2017, set out several red lines to start negotiating with the PSOE, including an amnesty law and a referendum on self-determination for Catalonia.

Feij?o, whose investiture debate will be held on Tuesday (26th) and Wednesday (27th), assured that it is totally fair to reject an amnesty law because “what no Spaniard voted for (on 23 July), at least 94%, was a change in the constitutional regime”, precisely to include an amnesty law, he insisted.

S?nchez’s PSOE and his likely “number two” in a future left-wing government, acting Labour Minister Yolanda D?az, leader of the progressive Sumar platform, have been negotiating with Puigdemont since last July to see what concessions they can make in exchange for his support, although, as S?nchez and D?az have made clear, always within the framework of the Spanish Constitution.

On Sunday, at a meeting of the Catalan branch of the PSOE (PSC) in the town of Gav?, near Barcelona, S?nchez took it for granted that he would be invested as the new prime minister when Feij?o fails and reiterated that he would respect the Spanish Magna Carta in its entirety, EFE reported.

“They are demonstrating (about the demonstration in Madrid) against a socialist government. Well, I’m sorry, there will be a socialist government. We have it clear: there are numbers (enough votes) for a progressive PSOE government with the party of Yolanda D?az, which would put all the dykes (hurdles) in the way of a Feij?o government with (the leader of the far-right Vox party, Santiago) Abascal”, S?nchez assured.

(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)

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