Calvo Challenges PP To Collect Signatures in Catalonia

Carmen Calvo slams the PP and Vox. Image: La Moncloa.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo has challenged the PP to collect signatures against pardons for Catalan separatists in the region of Catalonia itself.

The Partido Popular (PP) are currently collecting signatures against proposed pardons for 12 Catalan officials who were found guilty of serious crimes after the failed independence referendum in 2017.

In a fiery exchange in parliament today, June 9, PSOE’s Calvo butted heads with Cuca Gamarra, the PP’s spokesperson.

“They want amnesty, are they also going to give in to that? Why do they accept as an interlocutor someone convicted of sedition?” Gamarra said adding that PSOE supporters were abandoning the party in droves.

“Do not take us for fools and do not fool us. Do you admit that there are political prisoners? Spain does not want a government that is allied with criminals,” she said.

Calvo retorted, “Worry about the members of your party who will not go on Sunday to accompany Mr. Casado for the second part of the photo of Colon,” she said in reference to anticipated no-shows for PP representatives including the President of Andalucia, Juanma Moreno, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, and Alfonso Fernández Manueco.

The protest against the pardons in Madrid on Sunday will be controversial because the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, will likely be photographed with the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal.

“Spain does not need Vox, in the extreme right, we already have you who are behind them. They are not an alternative, they have absolutely nothing at the top of the table, that’s why they go to the Plaza de Colon, to continue pitting Catalonia against Spain and Spain against Catalonia,” Calvo said.

The PP said it was against granting the pardons as the 12 convicted officials show no remorse and would continue to agitate for Catalonia’s independence if released.

“Those convicted have reiterated on numerous occasions that they would do it again, that they would once again subvert the constitutional order,” the leader of the PP Pablo Casado said on May 28.

A decision on the pardons is not likely before June 13 as it could be damaging to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s favoured candidate in the Andalucian primaries, the current mayor of Sevilla, Josep Espadas.

Twelve Catalan separatist leaders convicted for various crimes in relation to the independence bid in 2017. Nine of them received jail terms of between nine and 13 years in October 2019.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.