Madrid streets barricaded ahead of tense Spanish investiture debate

Madrid streets barricaded ahead of tense Spanish investiture debate
Madrid streets barricaded ahead of tense Spanish investiture debate

Hello and welcome to the details of Madrid streets barricaded ahead of tense Spanish investiture debate and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Protesters gather outside the Spanish parliament as the investiture debate kicks off after Spain's socialists reached a deal with the Catalan separatist Junts party for government support, a pact which involves amnesties for people involved with Catalonia's failed 2017 independence bid, in Madrid, Spain November 15, 2023. — Reuters pic

MADRID, Nov 15 — Police barricaded the streets outside Spain’s parliament in Madrid on the first day of an investiture debate and vote that has roused anger over acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s offer of an amnesty to Catalan separatists in return for supporting his bid for another term.

Having won the backing of Catalan separatist parties Junts and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) as well as several other regional parties, Sanchez’s Socialists (PSOE) say he has enough support to win a vote scheduled tomorrow.

His premiership bid is expected to garner 179 votes in favour and 171 against in the 350-member assembly, mainly from the conservative People’s Party and far-right Vox.

Sanchez, who has governed since 2018, is set to speak first on a day in which party leaders will set out their reasons for supporting or rejecting his candidacy.

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The amnesty deal with Catalan separatists has prompted a wave of protests across Spain. Authorities said 80,000 people gathered in Madrid on Sunday, while tens of thousands also attended demonstrations in Granada and Seville.

Thousands have congregated each night for nearly a fortnight outside the Socialist Party (POSE) headquarters in Madrid.

On Wednesday morning there were more police than protesters outside the Spanish congress, with about 30 demonstrators gathered behind barricades near the stock exchange waving signs accusing Sanchez of treachery while near the western entrance a further 40 had congregated, one hour before the parliamentary session started.

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“We are Spaniards worried about Spain,” said one young protester draped in a Spanish flag. Another protester was banging on a cooking pot.

Hard-left party tipped to be junior partner

A bus operated by ultra-conservative activist group Hazteoir.org, with a large image depicting Sanchez as Adolf Hitler on its side circulated in the streets nearby.

Esteban Gonzalez Pons, vice secretary of the conservative People’s Party, on Tuesday compared the amnesty deal with violations of rule of law by Eastern European countries such as Hungary or Romania and suggested that the European Union could intervene.

The Supreme Court today rejected an injunction by the far-right party Vox to suspend the investiture vote.

After PP leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo failed in his own attempt to become prime minister following an election in July that produced no outright winner, Sanchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) spent weeks negotiating support with smaller parties to back him in the investiture vote and on key pieces of legislation.

Hard-left Sumar is set to become the junior partner in the coalition government.

A draft of the amnesty bill agreed with Catalan separatist parties ERC and Junts would exempt several crimes such as terrorism or acts that have resulted in death. — Reuters

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