Majority of Spaniards consider the amnesty scheme unjust

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amnesty scheme

MADRID – The majority of the Spanish population does not support the new government’s amnesty scheme. This is evident from a poll by the research agency 40DB. for El País and Cadena SER.

In political circles, only voters of the left-wing Sumar party and the nationalists understand the pardon of the defendants in the Catalan pro-independence trial. Catalonia and the Basque Country are the only regions that support the plan.

Across Spain, 60% believe the future amnesty law is unjust and is seen as a privilege for the separatists. The population does not agree with the arguments put forward by the government in favour of the law.

Injustice, privilege, coexistence and integration

The bearing of 40dB. confirms that the right-wing front’s call for protest against the amnesty scheme has found a lot of response. The conservative Partido Popular and the far-right Vox are completely against the law. However, the results show that there are also mixed feelings about the scheme among socialist voters.

Also read: Catalonia appears to be a major beneficiary of the amnesty agreement

40dB. asked 2,000 people to give their opinion on four emotional values attributed to the pardon measure: injustice and privilege, coexistence and integration. The first two are used by opponents of the law. The last two by proponents. The results clearly show the opinion of the people.

The main reason for the new law

The citizens are not very friendly to the government when it comes to the reasons for ‘forgiving the separatists’. Of the respondents, 85% think that ‘being able to form a government’ is the most important reason for the amnesty law. Only just under 38% see better coexistence and a better relationship between Catalonia and Spain as the most important argument. More than 70% also think that Pedro Sánchez wanted to prevent the arrival of the extreme right in the government with the pact.

Constitutional values in question

Supporters of the new amnesty law fail to properly defend its potential benefits. Almost half think that the amnesty scheme does not respect constitutional values. And only one in four believe that pro-independence parties will not unilaterally continue pursuing independence.

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Consequences of the amnesty law

The data show that only in Catalonia and, to a lesser extent, in the Basque Country, the pardon measures are well received. Nevertheless, opinions are divided there too. With more than 50%, Catalans think it will improve society. Respondents from both the Basque Country and Catalonia also scored the highest when it comes to positive expectations of the new law. Moreover, only 30% think that Catalonia will renounce the one-sided struggle for independence.

Amnesty in Galicia elections

Catalonia, the Basque Country, and, to a lesser extent, Galicia, somewhat nuanced the picture that the whole of Spain is against the pardon. In the rest of Spain there is a lot of resistance to the proposal for the amnesty law. This resistance is greatest in Madrid, Castilla y León, and Andalucia. Galicians appear to attach above-average importance to the possibility that the amnesty scheme will benefit society in Spain.

Regional elections will be held in Galicia next spring. The PP plans to take full advantage of the controversy over the pardons. The party wants to prolong the absolute majority it has had in the autonomous parliament since 2009.

Resistance to amnesty biggest among right-wing voters

Looking at political preference, it appears that the amnesty issue unites the right-wing electorate. Moreover, there is little difference between voters of the PP and Vox. In this group, negative feelings about the future law are around 80%. Only 15% expect positive consequences.

There are conflicting feelings among voters of the socialist party PSOE. Here too there are clear elements of rejection. However, these are mixed with hopes that the new law will ultimately bring benefits. This duality is reflected in the evaluation of the four emotional values attributed to the law. Among the PSOE electorate, the assessment values for those four elements fluctuate between 47% and 58%.

Sumar softened

Only Sumar supporters and nationalist groups see 40dB. high scores for the positive values ‘coexistence’ and ‘integration’. This makes them far removed from the ideologies of the right. In general, this part of the electorate believes that coexistence within Catalonia and between the autonomous communities as a whole is already improving. This group also thinks that it will strengthen Spanish democracy. However, the nationalist voter is not convinced that the parties they sympathise with will renounce unilateralism. Only 1 in 4 believes in it.

Also read: Again mass mobilisation in Madrid against amnesty law

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