By Linda Hall • 17 September 2023 • 12:00
JOAQUIN ALMUNIA: Former PSOE minister and European Commission vice-president opposes amnesty for separatists
Photo credit: European Parliament/Pietro Naj Oleari
TO hear that the PSOE had expelled Nicolas Redondo was a shock for anyone familiar with 1980s’ politics.
It was doubly shocking because he was secretary general of the Union General de Trabajadores (General Workers Union) between 1976 and 1994 and a PSOE MP in the national parliament between 1977 and 1987. He died aged 95 in January this year.
In fact the expellee was his son Nicolas Redondo Terreros, former secretary general of the Partido Socialista de Euskadi (PSE), which is part of the PSOE.
Redondo was ejected owing to his “repeated disdain” for the party, a PSOE communique announced on September 14.
In other words, he did not approve of the amnesty which Cataluña’s pro-independence parties are demanding in return for supporting Pedro Sanchez’s investiture.
If the PSOE caved in to separatist demands, it would be responsible for brushing aside contemporary history’s most brilliant political period, Redondo declared.
“It can continue to call itself PSOE but it certainly will not be the party it was at the end of the last century.”
Party sources argued that he had been distanced from many PSOE policies “for years” although PSOE veterans like former president Felipe Gonzalez and his one-time sidekick Alfonso Guerra do not want to see Sanchez toying with the idea of amnesty.
Referring to Redondo’s expulsion, Gonzalez referred to his own tense relationhip with Redondo senior during his presidency.
“His father called a general strike over pension reform while he was an MP,” he said. “It never occurred to me to punish him with expulsion and that was for something serious, not an opinion.”
To the unconcealed satisfaction of the Partido Popular, Redondon, Guerra and Gonzalez are not alone.
Joaquin Almunia, former PSOE secretary general, minister in two Felipe Gonzalez governments, as well as vice-president of the European Commission from 2009 until 2014, has said that “from the point of view of society in general, the conditions are not suitable.”
Almunia has also asked the PSOE to demand a “political rectification” from former regional president, Carles Puigdemont, for the harm inflicted on Catalan society by the October 2017 UDI and the effects of the Proces.
Javier Lamban, regional president of Aragon until the May 28 elections, is equally critical of the PSOE’s negotiations with Junts per Catalunya and Sanchez’s dalliance with amnesty.
“There is no place at all for it in the Constitution and it would set the Spanish on a very dangerous path,” Lamban has said.
Another PSOE baron, Emiliano Garcia-Page, who was re-elected as Castilla-La Mancha’s regional president in May, complained that the party had told voters that amnesty was not compatible with the Constitution.
“Changing from one day to the next is enormously serious,” Garcia-Page insisted.
Jose Maria Rodriguez de la Borbolla, Andalucia’s regional president between 1984 and 1990, has described tinkering with the Constitution to enable the amnesty as the first steps in a “a conscious process to deconstruct Spain’s constitutional state.”
All of which puts Pedro Sanchez in a position where he’s damned if he grants an amnesty and damned if he doesn’t, because he will lose the investiture. And that opens the door to another election which he could lose by a bigger margin than the July 23 poll.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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