Spain: mass protests against amnesty law

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP) mobilised hundreds of thousands of people against the planned amnesty law on Sunday. The law is to be introduced to the Spanish parliament this week and among other things enable Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE to form a coalition government with the leftist alliance Sumar and the Catalan pro-independence parties Junts and ERC. The party leaders must deal judiciously with this delicate situation, commentators warn.

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Secrecy confuses the citizens

El Periódico de Catalunya calls for transparency and legality:

“The PSOE, its leaders and its supporters have taken this step together, as have the [coalition partners] Junts, Sumar and Esquerra. ... But they have all done this without publicly discussing the central issue of this agreement, the amnesty law. This secrecy has left millions of citizens confused. ... Sánchez’s candidacy is legitimate, as are the demonstrations against it, while it is up to Congress, the courts and the Constitutional Court to scrutinise the legality of the agreed law. Sánchez should take note of what the people on the street are telling him and Feijóo should make sure to defend everything within the legitimate framework.”

El País (ES) /

Sánchez and Feijóo must be careful

El País warns both the Socialists and the opposition:

“The PSOE and its partners would be wrong to ignore the social implications of these demonstrations, no matter how much the inflammatory rhetoric of the right is distorting the debate. ... Pedro Sánchez is preparing to govern for all Spaniards, including the demonstrators. ... Alberto Núñez Feijóo has announced that he wants to continue mobilising the people until a new election is held. ... In a parliamentary system, it is the person who achieves a majority through agreements and concessions that governs. To label those who achieve this as illegitimate distorts the rules of the game laid down in the 1978 constitution.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

A chance for reconciliation

The deal deserves a chance, writes The Times:

“The complex deal is far from the caricature of capitulation to Catalan demands portrayed by the Spanish nationalist right. It has the considerable virtue of persuading the major pro-independence forces, at least for now, to return to operating within constitutional limits. And these Catalans can argue that they were forced onto a newly radical route in 2010 by the PP’s dubious utilisation of the Constitutional Court. It eviscerated a new Catalan Statute of Autonomy, approved by the Catalan and Spanish parliaments, and by Catalan voters, in 2006.”