By Deirdre Tynan • 21 June 2021 • 12:33
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
President Pedro Sanchez has announced that tomorrow he will propose to the Council of Ministers that pardons be approved for 12 Catalan separatists convicted of serious crimes in 2019. Nine of them received jail terms.
Speaking in Barcelona at a conference called ‘Reunion: A Future Project for Spain’, shortly after noon today, Sanchez said the controversial pardons will be put to the Council of Ministers on June 22, several weeks before the move was expected.
“The government of Spain is going to take the step now. And we are going to do it for harmony. I am not unaware that there are people opposed to this measure and I do not ignore their reasons, I respect them,” Sanchez said.
The Partido Popular (PP), which is firmly against the pardons, called Sanchez a “cuckold”.
“He is playing with the dignity of the Spanish people. He’s a beaten-up cuckold,” said the PP’s spokesman, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, on June 21.
Twelve Catalan separatist leaders were 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.
The pardons are highly unpopular across the political spectrum, including with Sanchez’s own party, the PSOE.
According to polls, 71 per cent of Spaniards are against the pardons, with even far-left voters not being able to muster convincing support for the idea.
Supporters of the opposition PP and Vox are most strongly against the pardon with their voters being 92.7 per cent and 94.3 per cent against respectively.
But PSOE voters are also in strong opposition with 67.8 per cent against pardons. Just one in five PSOE voters say they would support a decision to release the separatists. Supporters of coalition partner Podemos are 52.7 per cent against.
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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.
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