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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Spain’s Sanchez set to stay PM after amnesty deal with Catalan separatists

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is on the brink of securing another term in office after reaching a controversial agreement with the Catalan separatist Junts party by offering amnesty to those who participated in a failed bid for regional independence six years back.

Sanchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) has secured the backing of Junts to form a government after elections in July produced no outright winner.

On Thursday, senior PSOE lawmaker Santos Cerdan announced the deal with the party led by Carles Puigdemont, currently living in exile in Belgium for his involvement in secession efforts in 2017.

“Six years have passed [since the secession attempt] and the conflict is still unresolved,” Cerdan told a news conference in Brussels. “Our goal is to start a new chapter … where the errors of the past are no longer obstacles to overcome.”

An amnesty could exculpate as many as 1,400 activists and politicians involved in the attempt to separate Catalonia from Spain. It has been condemned by Sanchez’s conservative opponents who have organised large protests and accused him of putting the rule of law in Spain on the line for his own political gain.

The conservative main opposition People’s Party (PP), which won the most votes in the July elections but failed to form a government, has attacked the prospect of amnesty for separatists, whom they describe as traitors to Spain.

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