Spain’s left-wing government is preparing to pardon nine jailed Catalan separatists, which it says will pave the way for reconciliation over the country’s most diverse issue, which the opposition says undermines the rule of law.
Nine politicians and activists were jailed for their role in the illegal referendum on the 2017 independence referendum. Speaking at the Lyceum Opera House in Barcelona on Monday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his cabinet would meet on Tuesday to pardon the remaining Catalans.
“The government has decided to pave the way for reconciliation,” he said. “If there is a moment to unite, it is now.” He claimed that the pardon would affect not only the nine prisoners but also the hundreds of thousands of people who followed them.
The government says the move is an attempt to boost dialogue and ease tensions over Catalonia’s independence dispute, Spain’s most sensitive issue. But pardons are not very popular in most parts of the country, and opposition parties and judges are fiercely opposed. A recent survey suggested that: 61 percent The population is against them, only 29.5% are in favor.
There were nine Catalans imprisoned was convicted In 2019, up to 13 years, including rebellion on charges. Among them is Oriol Jun Unkeras, the former deputy head of the district administration, the leader of the largest separatist party, the Republican Catalan Left Party, or ERC.
The case revolved around the behavior of the Catalans during the 2017 independence referendum, which led to the aborted declaration of independence ժամանակահատված during the period of direct rule by Madrid. Nine Catalans have been in prison for more than three years, but will be released as soon as a partial pardon is announced.
Sanchez described the move as a step towards negotiations between the national and Catalan administrations to thwart a deal on regional status. But the pro-independence government of Catalonia demands self-determination և amnesty. It is divided into the ERC, which is more inclined to engage in dialogue with Madrid, and the junior, more radical partner of the regional government, Together for Catalonia, which leaves open the option of returning to unilateral action, such as another referendum.
Opposition to Catalan separatism has fueled the recent election, with the country’s opposition claiming that the minority government has undermined the rule of law in the face of separatist votes in parliament.
“Sanchez is selling stability and national unity for the official red carpet և these few months,” Pablo Casado, leader of the center-right People’s Democratic Party, told ABC over the weekend. “He does not believe in anything but his own strength, at the cost of keeping himself in power, even at the cost of leaving a completely broken, divided, conflicting country.”
The Spanish Supreme Court, which imposed the original sentences, is also strongly opposed to the pardons, calling such a move “unacceptableAnd noting that the prisoners did not repent.
In recent days, however, church and business organizations have backed Sanchez. Cercle d’Economia, which brings together most of Catalonia’s business elite, also welcomed the pardon. “If everything goes well, it will be welcome,” said Antonio Garamendi, head of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations, last week.