Around 170,000 Spaniards took to the streets in Madrid on Saturday to voice their opposition to the amnesty law for Catalan separatist leaders and militants, which allowed Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to stay in office in a parliamentary vote. , from Thursday.
Around 170,000 people, according to the prefecture, gathered in Cibeles square, around the famous fountain of the same name, in the center of the Spanish capital, to respond to the opposition’s call for protests
Participants chanted “Sanchez, traitor”, “Sanchez, bastard”, “Sanchez, in jail!” or “Catalonia is Spain”, waving Spanish or European flags, distributed by the European People’s Party, the European political formation of which the People’s Party is a part.
“What Pedro Sanchez wants is to cut Spain into pieces,” said Maria Angeles Galan, a 65-year-old retiree from Madrid, “to have the Basque Country on one side, Catalonia on the other, and say nothing happened and that judges matter little”.
Ranked second in the legislative elections of July 23, behind the leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the Socialist Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, in power since 2018, managed to obtain, on Thursday, a new mandate after negotiating intensively to obtains the support of regionalist formations, including the Catalan separatist parties.
In exchange for their votes, which are essential to forming a majority, he accepted several concessions, including the upcoming adoption of a highly controversial amnesty law for separatist leaders and militants prosecuted for involvement in Catalonia’s failed 2017 secession bid.
Mariana, a 51-year-old entrepreneur, came specifically from Zaragoza to protest against the amnesty. “I think the fight begins now and in the long term. This must be known, it is a message sent to Europe”, she said, showing the European flag held by her partner.
Luis Garrido, a 65-year-old pensioner from Guadalajara in the Madrid region, claims to be “socialist but not Sancho”.
From his point of view, the prime minister should never have accepted to receive a new mandate “at this price”.
“I don’t want Spain to sink, and I don’t want Spain to be divided in this way.”
The crowd gathered around noon and dispersed calmly after the speeches given by the organizers. For two weeks, demonstrations took place every evening in front of the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid, some of them degenerating into violence that resulted in dozens of arrests.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru