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Thousands protest against Catalan independence amnesty in Spain

Barcelona, Nov 13 (IANS) Thousands of supporters of the right-wing People’s Party (PP) protested against a possible amnesty for Catalan politicians involved in the 2017 independence referendum, days before an investiture vote to decide the country’s new Prime Minister.

According to the government delegate in Madrid, 80,000 people were protesting in the capital’s Plaza Mayor on Sunday, while the PP said some 500,000 were there, reports Xinhua news agency.

The protest was called by PP leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo in Madrid and all 52 provincial capitals of Spain against the amnesty for those involved in the Catalan region’s October 2017 referendum, which was ruled illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

The amnesty is part of an agreement signed in the past few days between the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Catalan nationalist parties, Junts Per Catalunya and Ezquerra Republicana.

It was supposed to give PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez enough support to secure 179 votes, a slim majority in the investiture vote due next week in the Spanish Congress.

In that case, acting Prime Minister Sanchez will win another four-year mandate.

Sanchez previously said that the agreement would help assure four more years of “progressive government” in Spain.

On Sunday, PSOE Secretary General Juan Espadas asked the PP to respect the result of the general election.

“We have been able to build a majority that supports the PSOE candidate Pedro Sanchez to become Spain’s prime minister,” he said.

During the past week, up to 7,000 people — mainly members and supporters of extreme right-wing group Vox, protested outside the PSOE headquarters in Madrid.

These demonstrations were marked by outbreaks of violence, with stones, bottles and fireworks being thrown at police, damages to public facilities and dozens of arrests.

The PSOE won 121 seats in the general elections on July 23, while the PP won 137.

However, during an investiture vote in September, Feijoo only won the support of the extreme right-wing Vox party and the regional Coalicion Canaria and UPN, four votes short of the majority of 176 needed to form a government.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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