CATALONIA – Catalonia’s President Pere Aragonès reacted this week to Prime Minister Sanchez’s decision to pardon the nine convicted separatist leaders. Araganès characterised the gesture of the pardoning from central government as “a first step”.
Sanchez presented his decision to grant pardon last Monday in Barcelona. No member of the Catalan government was present at this meeting. On Tuesday, the Council of Ministers will give the final green light for the release of the convicted Catalan independence fighters.
Pardoning does not mean redress for wrongs done
Aragonès said he sees the pardon as a first step in negotiations between his government and that of Spain. However, he stressed that this decision by the prime minister is not enough to resolve the Catalan “political conflict”. The release, in the eyes of the district council, will end the damage done to the nine separatist leaders. However, it will not remedy the injustice that has been done to them, nor the damage caused to Catalonia by the Spanish government.
Amnesty for all convicts
While the pardon for Sánchez is a gesture of reconciliation, for Aragonès the decision represents “a correction to an unjust ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court.” “The struggle waged to allow the Catalan people to freely choose their own future should never be condemned as an offence,” said the Catalan head of government.
The first item at the negotiating table
Catalonia wants more than this handout from Pedro Sánchez. The separatists not only want a pardon, but demand amnesty for all those convicted in the Catalan independence struggle. That means not only will the separatists be released, but all sentences handed down against them will be overturned. For the Catalan government, this amnesty is the first item at the negotiating table with the government in Madrid.