MADRID – In response to widespread protests against the proposed amnesty law, Spain’s Minister of Presidency has affirmed its constitutionality and necessity, urging approval in Brussels.
Amidst this turbulent backdrop, interim Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), has secured the 179 votes required for his investiture, thanks to alliances with parties such as Sumar, ERC, Junts, PNV, BNG, and Coalición Canaria. The debate is set to commence on Wednesday at noon, featuring Sánchez’s speech as a presidential candidate.
The PSOE’s amnesty law agreement has, however, ignited protests across Spain. Students and youths, supported by various student groups and members of the Vox party, have rallied at law faculties of universities like the University of Barcelona and Complutense University in Madrid, voicing their opposition to the law.
These events have also raised alarm within the judiciary. The Sala de Gobierno of the Supreme Court of Andalusia, Ceuta, and Melilla has expressed concerns about the amnesty initiative, viewing it as a significant sign of distrust in the judiciary.
Furthermore, the Spanish government has sent the amnesty law to the European Commission for review. They’ve requested a meeting with Vice President Vera Jourova and Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders to discuss the law’s details.
Vox’s legal challenge
In a parallel development, Vox leader Santiago Abascal has lodged a legal complaint against interim president Sánchez regarding the amnesty law’s registration, even requesting the suspension of the investiture session. He has warned of potential legal actions against Supreme Court members and Congress and Senate administrators if the bill proceeds.
Controversial strike proposal
Amidst this, Abascal’s call for a general strike on Black Friday, November 24, to protest the amnesty law, has sparked criticism, particularly from the retail sector. This move is seen as overreaching by Vox’s Solidaria union, given that national general strikes are typically called by the major unions, CCOO and UGT.
Senate’s delaying tactic
Recently, the Senate approved a reform, proposed by the PP, that could delay the final approval of the amnesty law in Congress by up to two months. This reform allows the Senate to decide on the urgency of bills like the amnesty law.
The PSOE and other left-wing parties have decried this reform as unconstitutional, planning to contest it in the Constitutional Court. Conversely, the PP, Vox, and UPN have supported it, with Vox emphasizing the need for all measures to counter those threatening political stability.
PP leader Alberto Nuñez Feijóo has warned foreign correspondents that the amnesty law could result in European penalties for Spain. Consequently, he argues that the law undermines legal certainty within the EU and could consequently harm European democratic standards.