By Linda Hall •
Updated: 27 Sep 2023 • 17:30
ANTI-AMNESTY DEMO: Alberto Nuñez Feijoo surrounded by supporters in Madrid
Photo credit: Partido Popular
TENS of thousands protested in Madrid on September 25 against a possible amnesty for Catalan separatists in general and former regional president Carles Puigdemont in particular.
According to official estimates, 40,000 people filled the capital’s Plaza Felipe II, while the organisers afterwards put closer to 60,000 the number of demonstrators occupying the square named after the same Philip II whose Armada failed to conquer England’s navy in 1588.
The Madrid protest was in fact the idea of former PP president, Jose Maria Aznar, who called on all like-minded Spaniards to make plain their opposition to anything resembling an amnesty.
Although initially intended as a transversal show of nationwide rejection for the amnesty, with invitations extended to PSOE and Unidas Podemos ministers, the protest was primarily a PP event.
The amnesty which is not exclusively reviled by the PSOE, does not yet exist and may possibly never see the light of day. It is also the price that the incumbent socialist government must pay to assure Pedro Sanchez of the votes needed to survive an October investiture that would once again make him president of the Spanish government.
First though, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo will have shot at an investiture, as the PP was the most-voted in the July 23 general election. At most he can hope for the votes of 172 MPs in the national parliament, taking into account the PP’s 137 seats and those of Vox, Coalicion Canaria (CC) and Union del Pueblo Navarro (UPN).
Feijoo needs just four more votes for the 176 overall majority that would get him into the Moncloa Palace, but it unlikely that they will fall into the PP’s lap at the end of the debate held over two days on September 26 and 27.
He has practically no chance of acquiring votes from the nationalist parties, apart from the usually faithful CC and UPN. The PP has also been appealing to the better nature of PSOE MPs who are opposed to the putative amnesty to back Feijoo when the investiture votes are cast.
Anything can happen in politics, and occasionally does, but it will be a brave socialist renegade who decides to vote for Feijoo when the debate comes to an end on September 27.
Meanwhile, friendly fire has arrived from Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) which naturally hopes for an amnesty for its politicians who were involved in the Procés towards secession. The party also wants a referendum but, unlike Junts, with the central government’s blessing.
According to the national daily, ABC, the deal is practically done and those involved are now tying up tying up loose ends.
“It’s taken for granted,” ERC spokeswoman said on September 25. “Documents are already circulating between the representatives taking part in the negotiations.”
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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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