Hundreds of thousands of people attended rallies on Sunday across Spain called by the right-wing People’s Party (PP) to protest the amnesty deal struck by the PSOE socialist party and the Catalan pro-independence parties that paves the way for Pedro Sánchez to officially remain in power. The far-right Vox party also attended the rallies. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez faces backlash and tough legislature ahead due to Catalan deal.
The proposed amnesty law, which would apply to hundreds of Catalan politicians and activists who participated in the unilateral effort to secede from Spain, had already led to a series of violent protests outside the Madrid headquarters of the PSOE during the week. ALSO READ: The PSOE and Junts sign a pact that will guarantee investiture of Pedro Sánchez.
Protests were held on Sunday in towns and cities across the country, including Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia.
The biggest protest took place at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid (main image), where the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, accused Sánchez of buying the presidency ‘in exchange for the judicial impunity of his partners’.
Feijóo said that Spaniards would not remain silent over the amnesty and announced that the protests would continue: ‘We will not shut up until there are elections.’
‘The office of prime minister of Spain can’t be an object to be bought and sold,’ Feijóo said at the rally. ‘Spaniards want democracy, equality, justice and dignity. Spain has never sold itself, and [the PSOE] have tried to cover up the fact that they lost. The prime minister of Spain will always be the person that’s won the elections.’
People congregating in the capital’s central square carried effigies of Sánchez as Pinocchio, chanted ‘Prison for Pedro Sánchez’ and carried banners such as ‘Democracy in Spain is at risk’, ‘Sánchez traitor’ and ‘No amnesty for terrorism – Europe save us’.
Leader of the Vox party, Santiago Abascal, described Sánchez’s deal with the Catalan parties as ‘a coup d’état in capital letters’ and that it was the ‘most delicate moment in Spanish politics in the past 40 years’. He also called for a ‘permanent and peaceful mobilisation’ that went far beyond Sunday’s one-off demonstrations.
The PP said 500,000 people had taken part in the Madrid rally, while the central government’s delegate to the region put attendance at 80,000.
Sánchez himself has urged the PP to show ‘good sense’ and to cease trying to stir things up.
‘I ask them to respect the result at the ballot box and the legitimacy of the government we will soon form,’ he said on Saturday. ‘I ask them to be brave and to say no to the bear-hug of the far right, and to abandon the reactionary path that they’re currently following towards the abyss. We will govern for all Spaniards – for four more years of social progress and co-existence.’
#EspañaNoSeRinde— Alberto Núñez Feijóo (@NunezFeijoo) November 12, 2023
No nos callaremos hasta hablar en unas elecciones para decir alto y claro:
🔴 No a la amnistía.
🔴 No a la impunidad.
🔴 No a la desigualdad.
🔵 Sí a una España de ciudadanos libres e iguales. pic.twitter.com/HJeBQL77A1