U.S. News & World Report Homepage

(Corrects paragraph six to make clear Calvo told Vanguardia)

MADRID (Reuters) -Thousands of Spaniards protested in Madrid on Sunday against government plans to pardon 12 Catalan politicians who were convicted over the region’s failed independence bid in 2017, a move the demonstrators see as a threat to national unity.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo gave the clearest indication yet that the pardons of the Catalan separatists were “close” in an interview published on Sunday with La Vanguardia newspaper, but the issue has bitterly divided Spaniards.

Around 63% of Spaniards oppose granting the pardons while some 25% backed it and about 6% were indifferent, according to a poll published on Sunday for niusdiario.es, an online newspaper.

“We should stop this now because for a pardon you must show contrition, and the separatists will not show that,” Carlos Bandecha, 47, a businessman, said at the rally, where many protesters waved red and yellow national flags.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

Opposition lawmakers from the conservative People’s Party (PP), the far-right Vox party and the centrist Ciudadanos joined the rally in Madrid’s central Plaza Colon.

Asked when Spain’s centre-left government might approve the pardons, Calvo told Vanguardia: “Soon, they are close. After the Supreme Court report arrives, we will immediately follow up on them. They should arrive soon at the cabinet.”

Spain’s Supreme Court said in a non-binding report last month that it opposes potential government pardons for the Catalan separatist leaders.

It sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders in October 2019 to between nine and 13 years in jail on sedition charges for organising an unauthorised referendum on independence and issuing a short-lived unilateral declaration of independence.

Three others were convicted of disobedience but not jailed.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley additional reporting Javier Barbancho, Elena Rodriguez, Guillermo MartinezEditing by Gareth Jones)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

This researcher came up with a key insight for why bonds sell off, years ago.

Long-term bond yields have been spiking, in response to the Federal Reserve…

“Everything they say about him is a lie”

The mother of the 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio who went to…

Candice Swanepoel sends temperatures soaring in a red cut-out gown at the Cannes Film Festival

Candice Swanepoel stunned in a daring red cut-out gown at the 2022…

Durbin: Biden 'Bears Ultimate Responsibility' for Having Classified Docs

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that…