Spain: Pedro Sanchez wants to reconcile his country with a risky pardon

He says revenge and revenge Pedro SanchezNot constitutional principles. Spain’s prime minister wants to pardon Catalan separatist leaders who have been jailed for between nine and 13 years.

In 2017, they held an illegal independence referendum, declaring the region’s independence – and Spain So it fell into a state crisis. “There is a moment of punishment and another of harmony,” Sanchez says. Now is the time for reconciliation.

The prisoners, including high-ranking politicians, have been held for three and a half years. The Catalans have repeatedly demanded their release in demos, and there have been occasional protests even during the pandemic.

Convicted Catalans show no remorse

Domestically, their release is too risky for Pedro Sanchez: the convicts show no remorse. It was rejected by Supreme Court justices, a majority of the population, the opposition, and even parts of their party. Opposition leader Pablo Casado called them “a betrayal of the people”. Casado believes Sanchez only softened because his minority government in Parliament relies on the votes of Catalans.

By being released, Sanchez puts his political fate in jeopardy. His government is not stable anyway; In the polls, the Conservatives have just passed him. The release of the separatists has the potential to shape the rest of the legislative term – also because liberals, conservatives and right-wing extremists want to demonstrate together against them.

Forgiveness will refute separatist propaganda

But for the country, and especially for the divided Catalan society, the amnesty should be good news.

Sanchez wants to quarrel through her Catalonia Calm down – by letting him sleep more. Harsh sanctions help stamp out the separatist movement’s mobilization; However, pardoning separatist leaders would reduce the core of separatist propaganda.

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Separatists have been calling for this for years Madrid The Catalans were brutally suppressed, like an authoritarian regime. In her story they are the victims, and their prison sentences turned their leaders into martyrs. Now Sanchez wants to turn them back into what they really are: politicians who do not have a majority for their radical vision of Catalonia’s future.

Even independence advocates warn of amnesty

Pardon time is good. The detainees will be released soon. at Barcelona He took power with the left-wing Republican Pierre of Aragon, one of the more moderate separatists; He, too, supports another independence referendum – but is at least interested in dialogue with Madrid.

Remarkably, even some separatists warn of amnesty from their leaders. They fear that mobilizing their supporters will be more difficult in the future. The leader of the large separatist organization said the amnesty could “politically disarm” the independence movement ANC. Pedro Sanchez couldn’t describe his plan better.

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