PP President Feijóo demanded PM Sánchez “withdraws the Amnesty Bill". (Isabel Infantes/Getty Images)


Opposition gathers thousands in Madrid to protest against Catalan amnesty


Spain’s centre-right Partido Popular (PP) drew thousands of protesters against the amnesty for convicted Catalan separatists to Madrid’s famous Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá Gate).

The PP claimed more than 80,000 thousand turned up on May 26 but the Government delegation in Madrid under Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party said the figure was around 20,000.

The leader of the opposition and PP President Alberto Núñez Feijóo demanded Sánchez “withdraws the Amnesty Bill, dissolves Parliament, and calls for new elections”.

Feijoo contrasted his own politics with that of the Socialist Party, saying “the interests of the nation are above those of the party”.

“They want us to be servants, like the ministers who say that Sánchez is ‘the master’,” he added in reference to a statement by the transport minister Óscar Puente who referred to Sánchez as “the f****** master” at a party rally in April.

“Spain has no master,” Feijoo added.

The Amnesty Law is set to gain final approval by the Spanish Parliament on May 30.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the popular leader of the PP in Madrid and President of the Madrid Autonomous Community, said the Amnesty Bill was “the most nefarious” piece of legislation in the history of Spain.

She added that the proposed amnesty for convicted Catalan secessionists was “an act of corruption, of impunity, at the hands of a lonely and broken Government”.

Ayuso warned the Amnesty Law could be “lethal” for Spanish democracy.

The PP also criticised what it said was Sánchez’s use of the country’s foreign policy “to gain the prestige he does not have in Spain”.

The PM announced on May 22 his Council of Ministers will recognise Palestinian Statehood in the coming days, a move also to be made by Ireland and Norway.

Ayuso claimed Sánchez “pretends that citizens will buy that Israel is the enemy” and accused him of sparking a diplomatic conflict with Argentina.

Spain threatened to suspend diplomatic relations with Argentina over claims of “blatant interference in Spain’s internal affairs” after Argentinian President Javier Milie at the Conservative VOX party convention Madrid on May 20 alluded to Sánchez’s wife’s alleged influence peddling.

European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders had already expressed “serious concerns” over the Amnesty Bill and Spain’s General Council of the Judiciary of Spain warned the move would “abolish the rule of law” in the country.