Students protest outside the Faculty of Law at the Complutense University in Madrid against the Amnesty Law under the motto 'Spain is not for sale and neither is our future', in Madrid, Spain, 14 November 2023. EPA-EFE/Fernando Villar


Tensions high as Spain prepares to confirm Sánchez as PM

A estimated 2 million people protested in major Spanish cities over the weekend against the amnesty law


Spain’s PM Pedro Sánchez is set to gain another term on November 15, amid massive protests across the country.

Spain’s Parliament will hold a debate and vote for the next prime minister. This follows snap elections in July.

Sánchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) controls a majority in the legislature, with help from Catalan and Basque separatists.

The PSOE agreement with Junts per Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont’s Catalan separatist party, includes a pledge to pass an amnesty law pardoning convicted separatists on the grounds that it is “an indispensable requirement” for stability in Catalonia.

The deal says the Spanish government inappropriately took its political dispute with Catalan separatist parties into the courts, and opens the door to a government-sponsored self-determination referendum.

It also sets up a committee in Congress to investigate alleged misuse of the courts against the Catalan separatist movement.

The speaker of the legislature, the PSOE’s Francina Armengol, scheduled two rounds of voting this week for Sánchez as PM, after reaching the deal with Puigdemont.

Sánchez’s Socialist Party have introduced the amnesty bill in Parliament, fulfilling a promise to place the law before the legislature before the premiership debate.

After signing two further agreements with the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and the Canarian Coalition (CC) party, Sánchez now has more than the 176-seat absolute majority he needs to be elected.

Sánchez promised the Basques a “bilateral relation” between the Spanish government and the Basque Country, including a path toward “national recognition” of the region.

A estimated 2 million people protested in major Spanish cities over the weekend against the amnesty law.

Protesters are also gathering daily outside the PSOE headquarters in Madrid. US Conservative news host Tucker Carlson joined protests there on Monday night.

Other activist organisations called on Spaniards to surround the Parliament building during the debate. Dozens of them have set up tents around the building.

Some protesters call their protests “National November”.

Disquiet about the amnesty has also come from opposition parties, Spain’s judiciary, and the EU.

The PSOE is “carrying out a coup,” says the conservative party Vox.

The parliamentary leader of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) has called for new elections, so that “the Spanish people can have a say on the matter.”

The Supreme Court warned about the “need to preserve and guarantee the judicial independences of all institutions”.