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Minister Bolaños on Thursday. EFE
Amnesty law text changed in Spain to satisfy separatist concerns
Politics

Amnesty law text changed in Spain to satisfy separatist concerns

The PSOE party has reached a new deal with Catalan nationalists Junts and ERC despite saying it would not touch the original text

Paula de las Heras / SUR

Madrid

Friday, 8 March 2024, 13:51

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Spain's PSOE Socialist party announced a new deal with Catalan separatist parties Junts and ERC for its proposed amnesty law this week.

On Thursday, parliament's justice committee approved a revised text for the law and this will now probably be voted on in Congreso next week before going to the Senate upper house. Here it could be delayed up to two months by the conservative-controlled chamber.

It is reported that Junts President Carles Puigdemont is expecting to be able to return to Spain in July free of charges for offences. He fled and self-exiled to Belgium in 2017 to avoid trial over the illegal Catalan independence process and related accusations.

Junts torpedoed the draft law's first trip to parliament in January, demanding the government do more to protect those involved from prosecution. The fragile support of Junts' MPs is needed to shore up the PSOE-led government.

Despite the PSOE saying it would not touch the proposed law further, in the end, the party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has given in to Junts' demands. Changes include adapting the definition of terrorism offences to EU norms instead of Spanish ones and omitting embezzlement of public funds if the person being investigated did not benefit personally.

Justice minister Félix Bolaños, of the PSOE, justified the deal to journalists on Thursday "This agreement is a definitive step," he said.

Cuca Gamarra of the opposition PP criticised the pact. "They want an amnesty for the most serious crimes in democracy in order to keep them in power," she said.

Jordi Turull of Junts said, "We have an amnesty, now we are going for self-determination."

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