Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Party has reached an agreement with the Catalan separatist party Junts, paving the way for the formation of a new government, Spanish media reported.
The deal between the caretaker prime minister’s Socialists and the party of self-exiled former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in Belgium is expected to provoke strong reactions as, in exchange for their support for Sanchez to remain prime minister, the Catalan separatists won the future adoption of a highly controversial amnesty law for their leaders and activists, who are being prosecuted by the courts, notably for their involvement in the 2017 Catalan secession attempt.
Pedro Sanchez’s Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while a Junts spokesman declined to comment.
Asked about the deal this morning, caretaker finance minister Nadia Calvino said: “I hope we have a government as soon as possible.”
A deadline of November 27 for Sanchez to form a government
Caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his party, PSOE, are trying to form a government after July’s elections failed to produce a clear winner.
Spain: Sanchez a breath away from forming a government – But Puigdemont roasts the fish on his lips
Spain: Sanchez lost the election, but is preparing to form a government
Last month, he reached an agreement to form a coalition government with the far-left Sumar Platform, but still needs several other smaller parties – which have backed him in the past – to give him a vote of confidence, a process that could take place as early as next week. before the expiration of the relevant deadline on November 27, as otherwise, new elections will have to be called.
The Junts have made it clear during the negotiations that they will give their seven votes to the House in exchange for the aforementioned amnesty law.
Strong reactions to the amnesty plan for the Catalan separatists by Sanchez
Their possible amnesty has already drawn sharp condemnation from Sanchez’s conservative opponents, who have staged large protests and accuse him of endangering the rule of law in Spain for his own political gain.
Yesterday Wednesday, European Justice Commissioner Didier Reyders wrote to the Spanish government asking for more details on the amnesty deal being negotiated.
“Serious concerns are now being expressed about the ongoing talks on the possible adoption of an amnesty law,” he said in his letter to the Spanish government’s minister of the presidency, Felipe Bolaños.
“Although at the moment there is no official proposal, this has been reduced to a fairly important issue in the public debate and the Commission has been informed about it, among others by a large number of citizens, writes the European Union Commissioner in his letter.