Spain: amnesty for separatists?
Carles Puigdemont is demanding amnesty and an end to proceedings against Catalan separatists in exchange for supporting a new socialist government. The Socialists (PSOE) would need the votes of his party Junts per Catalunya to piece together a majority and form a new government. Puigdemont himself is also facing legal proceedings for organising an independence referendum in 2017 as Catalonia’s regional president. He wants the secession attempts to be recognised as politically legitimate.
Constitutional and constructive
Jordi Juan, editor-in-chief of La Vanguardia, believes Puigdemont’s demands could lead to a solution:
“He wants to pave the way for an agreement, and we welcome that. This is why he has put the issue [of a new independence referendum] on hold and is focusing on an amnesty instead. The conditions he presented yesterday are in conformity with the constitution. ... It is testament to Puigdemont’s spirit that although Junts wants to ‘get paid in advance’ he has proposed the creation of a ‘mediation and review mechanism’, because after all such an amnesty cannot be approved in two days. The feeling yesterday among the other parties that would form the potential governing majority is that an agreement is getting closer. We share that view.”
Plunging Spain into the abyss
Correio da Manhã expects severe consequences for democracy should all the separatists’ demands be met:
“The amnesty is the quid pro quo, the referendum the delivery of the negotiated good. So a government is emerging that will be nothing more than a tragic sponge. For many years, no other government will surpass it in its ability to white-wash everything. A boon for Catalans and Basques who don’t want to be part of Spain. A torment for democracy. ... Sánchez and [Labour Minister Yolanda] Díaz are crossing very dangerous red lines that are pushing Spain into a moral and legal abyss. Who needs Vox to ruin the country and its institutions when we have this?”
Separatist ideas don’t deserve respect
El Mundo is against an amnesty:
“The separatists live among us and deserve respect. Their ideas do not. ... And right now their reactionary ideas — their waffling about a lost paradise never fails to have supporters — are shaping the future government. ... It cannot be ruled out that the PSOE voters who believe that the beckoning prize is worth the inconvenience are acting in good faith: in these difficult circumstances, this is the only way the government can pursue social democratic policies. ... But perhaps one day they will understand that the country suffers enormously from so much confrontation. And that in a democracy you don’t erase a crime in order to re-integrate criminals. The best option is to punish them.”