Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

March against amnesty Catalan independentists

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Some 45,000 people participated in the demonstration, called by the People's Party, a right-wing group.

Agence France-Presse

Tens of thousands of Spaniards gathered in the heart of Madrid to protest against the amnesty law for Catalan separatists prosecuted for the aborted secession attempt of 2017, two days before its presentation to Congress, as a last stand.

The demonstration, called by the People's Party (PP, right), brought together 45,000 people according to the prefecture of Madrid.

The future amnesty law, a counterpart to the re-election of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and which will benefit Catalan separatists accused of terrorism, first and foremost Carles Puigdemont, will be presented on Tuesday to the lower house, the Congress of Deputies.

A sea of ​​Spanish and European flags invaded the famous Plaza de España at midday.

Among the figures of the PP, its leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, rival of Pedro Sánchez in the legislative elections of July 23, who promised to save Spain democratically and to give back to the Spaniards their right to a country that they do not #x27;have not chosen.

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He was accompanied by former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as well as the president of the region Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

In the crowd, many gray heads held signs No to amnesty! or Sánchez, traitor. Lying dictator.

Silvia Sobral, 64, came to protest against this treacherous government which wants to destroy the Spanish nation and calls for new elections.

The possible return to Spain of Carles Puigdemont, the former head of the Catalan regional government during the attempted secession of Catalonia who had fled to Belgium to escape justice, seems to him to be an insult, or else to go to prison, she says.

Pepa Sánchez, a 70-year-old from Madrid, came because she feels Spanish and defends the Spanish Constitution, saying it regrets that amnesty is now legal.

It seems unacceptable to Diego Garcia, 72, to grant amnesty to these people guilty of outright terrorism. The possible return of Carles Puigdemont to Spain would seem terrible to him: I have no words, he is a guy who has been condemned…

Where are the young people? Where are they?, shouts a demonstrator to the crowd, waving a Spanish flag and another European one in each hand.

It was out of disagreement that Ismael Sanz, 47, went there: it's not positive for anyone that Puigdemont returns, there will be more tension and more confrontation.

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Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida and former Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy were among the dignitaries invited to the event.

When it is voted on and promulgated, probably not before several months, the amnesty law will allow, within two months, the lifting of proceedings against hundreds of independence activists and leaders indicted for their role in the secession attempt.

The far-right Vox party is also up against this amnesty measure and has organized numerous demonstrations punctuated by violence in recent months, notably in front of the headquarters of the Socialist Party, during which its activists continued to chant that the Prime Minister was a dictator.

The promise of rapid approval of the amnesty law by Parliament allowed Pedro Sánchez to be reappointed as head of government in mid-November for a new term of four years, thanks to the votes of the deputies of the two separatist parties of Catalonia, who had made it the non-negotiable condition of their support.

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