By Deirdre Tynan • 22 June 2021 • 17:14
Spokesman Elias Bendodo.
Image: Junta de Andalucia
The spokesman for the Andalucian government has slammed the decision to grant pardons to jailed Catalan separatists and has accused President Pedro Sanchez of manipulating the news cycle to obscure criticism.
SPOKESMAN Elias Bendodo, who is also the president of the Partido Popular in Malaga, said Sanchez had “trampled on the rule of law, also the Supreme Court” and is convinced the separatists are unrepentant and will make a bid for Catalonian independence again.
“They have already said that they are not sorry and that they would repeat it again. Not everything should be valid to maintain the Moncloa chair,” Bendodo said on June 22 in reference to Sanchez maintaining control of the Spanish parliament.
He also claimed that Catalonia is now set to receive millions of euros in extra funding and that Sanchez timed the announcement that masks would no longer be necessary outdoors on June 26 and the reduction of VAT on electricity bills to disorientate voters.
The Council of Ministers, Spain’s cabinet, granted the pardons on June 22 after President Pedro Sanchez argued the pardons would clear the way for peace and stability with independence seeking Catalonia.
Opposition parties called Sanchez a “traitor”. The leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal said Sanchez had committed “treason” and called for the government to be censured.
The main police union, JUPOL, also called the pardons “an act of political interference” and a sign of a “serious lack of respectful” to officers involved in the many riots that have erupted in Catalonia since the failed 2017 independence referendum bid.
It is unclear exactly when the nine imprisoned separatists will be released but it could be as early as today if the Supreme Court signs off on it this evening without waiting for the pardons to be officially published.
The nine separatist who have received pardons are: former vice president Oriol Junqueras, former councillors Raul Romeva, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Dolors Bassa; the former president of the Parliament Carme Forcadell; and Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart.
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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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