MADRID – After an intensive period of negotiations, the Spanish socialist party PSOE and the Catalan party Junts have reached an important agreement on an amnesty law.
This amnesty agreement is crucial for the support of Carles Puigdemont’s party for the re-election of Pedro Sánchez as prime minister. The deal will be presented today in Brussels. It was was reached after a marathon session of talks and legal consultations. The proposed amnesty is intended for those involved in the Catalan independence process. Furthermore, it marks a historic moment in Spanish politics.
The main obstacle to the negotiations was Puigdemont’s demand to rewrite the draft amnesty law. With the objective to overturn the terrorism charges against him. The PSOE was initially reluctant to accept this demand, but eventually agreed to revise the wording of the law.
Sánchez’s investiture now a matter of days
With the registration of the amnesty law in parliament early next week, Sánchez’s re-election is expected mid-week of November 13. This step, now with the seven votes of Junts, supplemented with the support of other parties, should give Sánchez the necessary absolute majority in the Congress of Deputies.
Last week, the PSOE already closed an investiture pact with ERC, which “guarantees the stability of the legislature” (as assured by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños). This agreement includes the amnesty law, the transfer of Rodalies to the Generalitat and the forgiveness of part of Catalonia’s debt, demands shared with Puigdemont.
Heated reactions and political tensions
The amnesty agreement reached has already led to fierce criticism from the opposition, especially the PP. This party labels the agreement as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘humiliating’. But the way now seems clear for Sánchez. He only needs the support of the Basque nationalist party PNV to ensure his re-election. However, an agreement with this party has yet to be reached.