June 16, 2021

“Helping to solve problems does not represent a cost, the cost would be to leave things as they are”


Pedro Sánchez has once again sent unequivocal signals of his intention to grant pardons to the independence leaders imprisoned by the you process as a way to resolve the political conflict in Catalonia. “We will make the decision in conscience, not thinking of those affected but of the millions and millions of Catalans and Spaniards who want to live in peace,” he said this Monday. “Helping solve problems does not represent a cost. The cost for the country would be to leave things as they are, entrenched in 2017, and neither Catalonia nor the rest of the country deserve that ”, he stated at a press conference with his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki , within the framework of a summit between the two countries held in Alcalá de Henares.


Sánchez risks with the pardons before the Andalusian primaries that will mark the course of the PSOE and the Government

Sánchez risks with the pardons before the Andalusian primaries that will mark the course of the PSOE and the Government

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The president has assumed the electoral wear and tear that the decision to grant a partial pardon for the pro-independence leaders who have been in prison since 2017 may entail for the PSOE. This has been done in recent days by other members of the Government. The message sent by the Executive is that the measure of grace allows opening a new time in Catalonia, not so much for the leaders of the you process but for the Catalan citizens, and especially, the independentistas. “The decision that the Government is going to make when the Ministry of Justice elevates the concession to the Council of Ministers or not will be a decision that allows us to move from a bad past to a better future,” he said.

“Open a future of coexistence”

“I remember that in the investiture speech I spoke that it was necessary to retake the political path, that after many years of disagreement, of judicialization of the crisis in Catalonia, it was necessary to resume the political path, the path of reconciliation, dialogue and the pact within the margins that the Constitution allows us, “Sánchez recalled:” I said that we had to start over, return to that point where both parties stopped listening and understanding the reasons and arguments of the other party in order to reach to an agreement and I said that the resolution of this crisis after more than ten long years was not going to be immediate, it was going to require patience, negotiation, empathy and generosity. ” From there, Sánchez has assured that he “reaffirms” himself in that intervention as well as in what he said in Congress about the pardons.

For Sánchez, it is now essential to “overcome the emotional, social and political tear” that 2017 meant, the year in which the unilateral declaration of independence took place, and “open a future of coexistence.” “It will be a decision that opens a new stage [ha dicho en referencia a los indultos] to leave behind a bad past that makes no one proud, “said the president, who referred to those who at that time had power both in Moncloa [el PP] as in the Generalitat [Junts y ERC].

“Build oneself, arm oneself, base oneself well”

What he has not wanted to go into is the detail of the date on which the Council of Ministers will decide on the pardons. “The important thing is to let the Ministry of Justice work,” the president said about the files, which have to “be built, well armed, well founded,” as he explained. The Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, but also the First Vice President, Carmen Calvo, and the Secretary General of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, are working on the preparation of the files. The Government’s concern is that the Supreme Court, which has opposed the grace measure, will find a loophole to overturn the pardons, which PP, Vox and Ciudadanos have already announced that they will appeal.

Nor has it specified when it intends to meet the dialogue table with the Generalitat. He has made it clear that he will first hold a meeting in Moncloa with the president, Pere Aragonés, as well as with the Madrilenian, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, as formally corresponds to his recent election. Moncloa sources specify, however, that the intention is that pardons will be granted first and then, in the first fortnight of July, the bilateral table meets Government-Generalitat that Sánchez has assured that he expects to meet “many times.” This is the body that the PSOE and ERC agreed to in view of the inauguration of Sánchez and in which they intend to find a solution for the “political conflict” in Catalonia, although the starting points are very distant and within the central Executive they are skeptical regarding an agreement that satisfies the Government.

Sánchez has reiterated his intention to modify the Penal Code to lower the penalties for sedition after El País has published that the Government’s intention is to carry out this reform and to charge with reasons in front of the Supreme Court in its argumentation of the pardons. “Spain in 2017 learned a lesson. We saw how decoupled the Criminal Code was in relation to these crimes with respect to other criminal codes of other European countries. The Government has always shown its willingness to update these crimes to the Criminal Code and homologate them to more advanced countries in democratic terms, “he said.

He has also spoken out on the crisis with Morocco after the Foreign Ministry of that country has warned that the problem not only has to do with the reception of the leader of the Polisario Front but also with the position of Spain on Western Sahara, which is what the UN maintains in its resolutions. Sánchez has rejected that the Alawite kingdom did two weeks ago a abandonment of functions in border control, in this case with Ceuta, by allowing 10,000 immigrants to pass for what the Prime Minister has considered a “discrepancy in foreign policy.”

“If what you are saying is that you have used immigration, the assault, I find it unacceptable and I reject that statement. It is not admissible for there to be a government that says that the borders are opened so that 10,000 immigrants enter due to discrepancies in foreign policy, ”said the president at a press conference with his Polish counterpart, who has shown his support for Spain in relation to to the “southern neighborhood”.

Sánchez has also issued a warning to the Alawite kingdom by reminding it that the relationship between the two countries is “strategic” and that Morocco “has no better or greater ally in the EU than Spain for many of its demands.” “Spain is an essential partner”, has warned.

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