Tens of thousands of Spaniards protested in Madrid today against the government’s plans to pardon twelve Catalan politicians convicted of a failed attempt to secede from Catalonia in 2017, Reuters and AP reported.
In an interview with the Vanguardia newspaper published today, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo gave a clear signal that the release of the Catalan separatists from prison is “near”. However, this caused a strong division between the Spaniards.
According to the results of a poll published today in the online edition niusdiario.es, about 63 percent of people are against the amnesty of the separatists, 25 percent support it, and about 6 percent are indifferent.
Opposition lawmakers from the conservative People’s Party, the far-right Vox (Voice) and the centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens) joined a rally in Madrid’s central Colon Square. According to the Sofia police, the participants in the rally are about 126 thousand. However, the national police counted 25,000.
Last month, Spain’s Supreme Court said in a non-binding report that it objected to a possible government decision to pardon convicted separatists. It was this court that found guilty in October 2019 of nine Catalan politicians on charges of organizing an illegal independence referendum and unilaterally declaring Catalonia’s independence. They received sentences of 9 to 13 years in prison. Three others were found guilty of disobedience, but were not sent to prison, the agencies recalled.