MADRID – Tensions are high on the streets of Madrid as thousands of people gather in front of the headquarters of the Socialist Party (PSOE). They are there to protest and express their dissatisfaction with the planned amnesty policy for Catalan separatists.
During the protests against the proposed amnesty, some demonstrators turned to throwing stones and showing the Hitler salute. This led to confrontations with police who used tear gas and batons. At least seven people were injured and three arrests were made.
Political tensions are rising
The interim government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hopes to gain support from Catalan separatist parties for a new four-year government term with the amnesty law and additional concessions. The largest opposition party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), and the right-wing populist Vox are diametrically opposed to this approach and strongly reject such concessions.
Sánchez has already reached an agreement with the left-wing Catalan separatist party ERC. However, now he is currently negotiating with the liberal Junts. He has until November 27 to form a government, otherwise new elections could take place on January 14.
Political stalemate looms
Spain’s political future hangs in the balance as the deadline for forming a government approaches. This uncertainty fuels political tensions and makes the street protests all the more charged. The amnesty law, which aims to accommodate the Catalan separatists and thus form a government, is becoming an increasing stumbling block in Spanish politics. The opposition, but also the citizens who took to the streets, see it as a violation of the Spanish rule of law and a dangerous precedent for future separatist movements.