The leader of the opposition Partido Popular, Pablo Casado, will attend a demonstration against the Catalan pardons with the leaders of Vox in June despite concerns about sharing a platform with the ultra-conservative party.
The PP’s general secretary, Teodoro Garcia Egea, said the neither Casado or the party would bow to criticism for associating with Vox as the stakes were too high. The vast majority of Spaniards, including most supporters of the ruling PSOE party, are against granting pardons to 12 jailed Catalan separatists.
“We know where we have to be. We owe it to the Spanish people and to no one else,” he said of the protests planned in Madrid on June 13.
The pardons would be a “political payment” to Pedro Sanchez’s coalition partners, he added.
“The pardons are a political payment. If Pedro Sanchez had an absolute majority, we would not have pardons. Sanchez rewrites the sentence to buy two more years of legislature,” he said after a steering committee on May 31.
Twelve Catalan separatist leaders convicted for various crimes in relation to the independence bid in 2017. Nine of them received jail terms of between nine and 13 years in October 2019.
A decision on the pardons is not likely before June 13 as it could be damaging to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s favoured candidate in the Andalucian primaries, the current mayor of Sevilla, Josep Espadas.
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