Today: Thursday, 23 May 2024 year

In Madrid, thousands of Spaniards are protesting over the prime minister and the amnesty law.

In Madrid, thousands of Spaniards are protesting over the prime minister and the amnesty law.

Thousands of people carrying Spanish flags filled the center of Madrid to protest the re-election of Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez as prime minister and an amnesty for Catalan separatists.

The rally was called by hundreds of different associations, supported by the right-wing People’s Party (PP), the far-right Voice party (Vox) and the center-left Citizens party (Ciudadanos). Police officers told that about 170 thousand people took part in the demonstration, which took place in one of the central squares of the city of Cibeles. However, the organizers of the action claim that about a million people took to the streets of the city.

Protesters lashed out at the PSOE, which decided to reach an agreement with regional separatist parties to win their support in Thursday’s vote in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of parliament. Thus, the protesters are confident that the current government is making concessions to the Catalan separatists, posing a significant threat to both the democratic values ​​of the country and its constitution.

During the protest, which took place under the slogans “Not in my name: no amnesty, no self-determination, for freedom, unity and equality!”, “Sanchez, resign” and “Spain is not for sale”, a manifesto was read out warning about ” deconstitutional” political process based on the “corrupt” re-election of Sanchez.

The key dissatisfaction of the protesters was caused by the future amnesty law, which involves the annulment of the “criminal, administrative and accounting liability” of all those who committed crimes related to the secession process of Catalonia during the last decade, from January 1, 2012 to November 13, 2023.

“How can a democratic government make concessions to criminals for its own benefit? If this law is passed, Carles Puigdemont (ex-president of Catalonia and leader of the separatist Junts party, still under investigation for organizing an illegal referendum in 2017) will be able to return “to Spain without any proceedings. During his election campaign, Sanchez did not warn anyone that such a scenario could be possible. He deceived his own voters,” one of the protesters said.

On Thursday, Sanchez won the vote in the Congress of Deputies, thereby once again becoming prime minister of the kingdom. This event caused discontent both from representatives of the right-wing political forces and from a significant part of Spanish society.

Thus, immediately after the announcement of the voting results, a protest against Sanchez and the future amnesty law began in the center of Madrid. About 15 people were detained.

At the end of July, general elections were held in Spain, in which the PSOE’s main rival, the right-wing PP, received the most votes (137 seats in the 350-seat parliament) and the PSOE received 121 seats. At the end of August, King Philip VI of Spain nominated PP leader Alberto Feijoo for the post of Prime Minister of the country. According to the government formation procedure, deputies had to vote for or against the PP leader. However, he lost the congressional vote, failing to receive a majority of votes. Therefore, Philip VI nominated Sánchez as head of the PSOE.