Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced this Monday in Barcelona that this Tuesday he will propose in the Council of Ministers the granting of pardons to Catalan separatist leaders who are in prison for their involvement in the 2017 independence attempt.
“Tomorrow [terça-feira], guided by the spirit of concord of the Constitution, I am going to propose to the Council of Ministers that they grant pardons to the nine convicts,” said Sánchez in a speech to 300 representatives of Catalan civil society.
The head of the Spanish Government asked those who do not agree with the measure to at least recognize “its full legality and its absolute constitutionality”.
Sánchez underlined that he is aware that part of Catalan and Spanish society is opposed to the granting of pardons, but said that “the future must matter more than the past” and that this measure “will give everyone the opportunity to start over and do things. things better”.
“If there is time to unite, this is it”, said the prime minister, who also defended the “dialogue” against the “confrontation”, because the latter “has not served to resolve any conflict”.
At the moment he made the announcement, one of those present, who was carrying an Estelada (a symbol for independence), responded to the cries of “amnesty and independence”.
“The Government of Spain has decided to face the problem and seek harmony”, insisted the head of the Spanish executive in the opera room ‘Grande Teatro do Liceu’, in the capital of Catalonia, where he gave a lecture entitled “Reencounter: a project for the future for Spain”.
The Spanish right criticizes this position of the left minority government, considering that the measure is the bargaining chip that guarantees the continuation of the necessary support for Pedro Sánchez to remain in power for another two years, until the end of the current legislature.
Catalan politicians who organized an illegal referendum on self-determination in the region in 2017 were tried in 2019 and nine of them are serving prison sentences of up to 13 years in prison, among others, for the crime of sedition (collective contestation against the authority).
A group of independentists is on the run abroad and has not yet been tried, among them the former president of the Catalan executive Carles Puigdemont, who is in Belgium, and was elected a member of the European Parliament.