Massive protest in Madrid against pardons for the independence leaders of Catalonia

In Plaza Colón in Madrid, tens of thousands of people gathered to protest against the pardons that the Spanish Government is studying to grant to twelve Catalan independence leaders who are serving sentences for the secessionist attempt of October 2017.

The concentration was attended by the most important faces of the political right: Pablo Casado, leader of the Popular Party; Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid; Inés Arrimadas, by Ciudadanos and the leader of the far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal; among others.

“The pardons are, in the first place, a betrayal of all the Catalans who suffered the separatist coup of 2017 and who were left at the mercy of separatism. It is also an act of treason towards all Spaniards who respect the law and the Constitution”, Abascal told the media present.

The Executive of Pedro Sánchez considers pardons as something necessary to redirect relations between the State and the region of Catalonia, criticized since the secessionist attempt in 2017. But the opposition maintains that the grace measure hides partisan interests rather than coexistence.

The socialist government not only faces the rejection of the conservatives but also the critical voices within its party and the Spanish Justice.

The Supreme Court and also the Prosecutor’s Office are against the pardon as they understand that it would breach conditions such as the necessary repentance, since several of the convicts insist that they would resume the independence path, it is an individual measure and not a collective measure, and it would mean that the Government corrects the sentence of the courts.

In an interview published today by the newspaper La Vanguardia, the first vice president of the Executive, Carmen Calvo, assures that the pardons are close and “will soon arrive at the table of the Council of Ministers.” In addition, Calvo criticizes the attitude of the conservative opposition and those attending the concentration this Sunday since the only viable alternative is “to normalize institutional relations, stop the tremendous confrontation caused by the independence movement and the Spanish right and stabilize the situation.”

This measure of grace corresponds constitutionally in Spain to the Government, but it can be appealed in the courts if it is considered that it does not comply with the requirements, set out in a law dating from 1870.